Two-step Quiz


Any level except for absolute beginners.

About this game

As the name suggests, this game involves two steps, as follows:

Step 1 is a variation on the traditional 'Twenty Questions'. The focus of this step can be any suitable topic, such as T.V. shows, popular singers or bands, countries, animals, etc. (see 'Match of the Day' for a more elaborate version using sports as the focus). The topic could even be the members of the class themselves, with teams asking questions such as 'Is he tall?' or 'Does she wear glasses?'.

Step 2 is played after a team wins step one. This team earns one point for winning step one and the chance to earn a bonus point by correctly answering a 'Word Up' question.


1. Take one 'Word Up' question sheet from a level of difficulty suitable for your class (if you don't have the 'Word Up' ESL board game, you can print out one of the sample question sheets instead).

2. Arrange two groups of two to four chairs facing each other across the front of the classroom, then draw a scoring table on the board, as follows:

        Teams         Score 

How it Works

1. Ask for one student to act as 'quiz master'. Have other students form two teams of two to four members each, with each team choosing a name. (The rest of the students make up the 'audience' for the first game.) Give the 'Word Up' question set to the quiz master and have him or her write each team's name on the scoring table.

2. Set a target number of points needed to win the game (just 3 or 4 points is probably best as this keeps the game short and should allow time for students to exchange roles and play another game if they wish).

3. Decide with the class what the topic for the game will be. Then ask each 'audience member' to write on a piece of paper something appropriate to the topic. The quiz master then asks for an audience member to volunteer to come forward and stand between the two teams with his or her piece of paper.

4. Play begins with any member of the team 'stage right' asking a 'Yes or No' question. If the focus is T.V. shows, this could be a question such as 'Is it a game show?' or 'Is it on every day?'. (If the audience member is not sure of the answer, the team may ask another question instead.)

5. After the audience member has answered either 'Yes' or 'No', the team which asked the question has the chance to guess what the audience member has written. If the team doesn't guess correctly, a member of the other team asks a question and then his or her team tries to guess, and so on. (If neither team has guessed correctly after asking five questions each, the quiz master stops play and asks if a member of the audience can guess the answer. If no-one can, the quiz master takes the piece of paper and reads out the answer.)

6. When a team does finally guess correctly, they earn a point and also the right to answer a question from whichever 'Word Up' category they choose. The quiz master then asks a question from this category and the team has one minute to decide their answer. If the team answers correctly, they score a bonus point. If the team doesn't answer correctly, the quiz master gives the 'audience' a chance to answer the question. If no-one can answer correctly, the quiz master reads the answer.

7. The quiz master then asks for another audience member to come forward and answer questions (teams take turns asking the first question). Play continues until one team reaches the target number of points. If your students wish to play another game, new teams are formed. The class should then decide on a different topic for the second game. The quiz master keeps his or her role and continues asking the 'Word Up ' questions as required from wherever he or she left off in the first game.

- The quiz master should ask the 'Word Up' questions in the order in which they are written on the question sheet.
- If all seven 'Word Up' questions for a particular category have already been asked, the quiz master asks the team to choose another category instead.
- If all the audience members have had a turn answering 'Yes or No' questions before the game is over, ask each to write something else appropriate to the topic and continue as before.

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