Tried and tested (and approved!) games and activities to help English learning.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Level: Intermediate and Advanced.

Skills: writing.

Topic: vocabulary.

Materials: sheets of paper and pencils (or pens).

Time: 5 to 10 minutes.

This game is somewhat alike to Sinko, as both games use grids. The objective here, though, is to guess a word which your opponent has written.

Ask students to work in pairs. Both students draw a grid of five squares by five (for very advanced classes, you could ask them to draw a seven by seven squares grid). They number the columns of the grid from one to five along the top, and from six to nought down the side, so that each square can be identified by a number (e.g. the centre square is 38; the square in the bottom right-hand corner is 50). Each student then writes a five-lettered word (seven-lettered, if they're using the expanded grid) either across or down in his or her own square. Then they fill the remaining squares in their grids with 20 other letters which do not create any more five-letter words. The students also write in their pieces of paper a second, blank grid of five by five, in which to write their opponent's letters as they discover them.

Each student in turn calls out the number of a square, and their opponent says what letter is in that square. In this way, each student can build up a picture of what letters their opponent's grid contains. Instead of guessing a letter, a student can choose to guess the opponent's hidden word: if it is guessed correctly, the guesser wins the game; if not, the game continues. If the opponent's word is guessed correctly, the student scores one point for every blank square in his or her opponent's grid. If a student has accidentally included more than one five-letter word in the grid, the opponent will win by guessing any of these words.

It's nice to tell students to include several sequence of letters which look as if they might be part of five-letter (or seven-letter, in advanced games) but are actually not (like MISEL, SLEEM, TABLI or QUIZL, which gives the name for this game). In this way, the students can lead their opponents to concentrate on part of the grid which does not include the hidden word.


  1. How creative! well done, my friend :) Rach

    1. Thank you, dear. It's a great honour to have you as my first commentator here. And an honour it is when what you write is such an endearing incentive. Thank you, indeed.


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