What's The Word? (2)



Skills Practised

Vocabulary recall and sentence construction.



About this game

In this game players take turns eliciting compound nouns by miming each of the constituent words. To begin, a player indicates 'first word' by raising a finger and then acts in such a way as to suggest this word. Those watching call out any words they think of until someone calls out the correct one. The player miming then nods and begins miming the second constituent word. For example, if the word is 'basketball', the player tries to elicit 'basket', and then 'ball'. The player must not, however, mime the word 'basketball' itself by running around as if playing the game.


1. Print out the set of cards provided, or make your own set by checking our list of compound nouns.

2. Draw a scoring table on the board, like this:
        Team A                Team B        

How it Works

1. Explain the game and model if necessary (emphasize that the players must not try to mime the target word itself, but each part of the word in turn). Then divide the class into two teams and have each team choose a name. Next place the cards face down in a pile at the front of the classroom.

2. Ask for any member of the first team to come forward. This player then takes the top card and tries to elicit each part of the word as explained above. If one of those watching correctly guesses the first part, the player miming nods and then continues by trying to elicit the second part.

3. If any member of either team thinks he or she knows the complete word, he or she raises a hand. If correct, his or her team wins a point. The player stating the correct word can then earn his or her team another point by correctly using the word in a sentence.

4. A player from the second team then comes forward to elicit whatever is written on the next card, and so on. Play continues until all the cards have been used, with the team earning the most points winning.

- If no-one has guessed the word within a reasonable length of time, ask for the player miming to state it. A player from the other team then comes forward to continue play.
- To play a shorter game, either set a time limit for the game as a whole or use just a few of the cards.

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