Creative Teaching Ideas - Word Games for Vocabulary

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Apart from Word-Building, here are a few other word games that can be conducted in the class-room.

For these games, divide your class into groups of 6 (don’t form more than 5 groups).

Word Chain

Call the first team to the front and make them decide an order to speak in. Give them a starting word.

The team is to form a chain of words, such that each team member speaks a word one by one and the next word should always begin with the letter the last word ended on. The team which makes the maximum number of words in a minute wins. You can set a limit for the shortest word allowed.

Variations: You can make it tougher by limiting them to speak words related only to a theme.

Dumb Charades

Dumb charade is a famous game in which one person of a team is given a movie and the rest of the team is supposed to guess the name, while this person enacts the name. You can use this one to teach a vocabulary of adjectives, professions, moods, expressions, characters of a story etc. Give one person from each team one profession, and the rest of the team must guess through his acting. The actor must not speak. Impose a time limit, depending on the difficulty you want to keep.


Write down a large word on the board, that has a substantial number of vowels. Ask each team to make three or more lettered words out of the word you have given. Set a time limit. The team that makes the maximum number of words wins. There could be a tie. So keep a bonus word ready and see which team makes higher number of words in a very short duration, say 10 seconds.

Arbitrary Words

This game need not be played in a team. Decide an order to go in. Start with a word. The next word cannot be anything related to the word spoken right before. The word has to be spoken immediately. If one does not speak immediately or speaks a related word, he is out of the game. Moderate the game whenever required on issues of deciding whether or not a word is related.

Variation: The next word is totally unrelated to any of the previous spoken words. This would make it tougher.

Here is an example: say the person before me said “fan.” So all electrical appliances, all big celebrities (since a fan is related to them), air, etc. are excluded for me.

That’s about it. Hope you have fun using these creative teaching ideas in your class!

This post is part of the series: creative teaching ideas - word games for improving vocabulary

word games like word building, anagrams, word-chain etc. for improving vocabulary and spelling of your pupils.

  1. Vocabulary and Spelling Word Building Game
  2. Improve the Vocabulary of Your Students With Word Games