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The $20'000 Vocabulary Pyramid

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A simple but very fun vocabulary activity that really gets students talking and competing. STEP 1. Pick ten different categories, things in the bathroom, city living, animals or anything that may be appropriate to your current lessons. In each of the ten categories you need ten words. STEP 2. Write the ten categories on the board in the form of a pyramid ( 5 on the bottom, then 4 then 3 then 2 then 1 on top). STEP 3. The rules are simple. One team picks a category and a speaker from that team stands in front and has to describe the words to his team without saying them, without using hand signals, and without using thier native language. If any of the rules are broken the word the ST is describing is buzzed out. For every word the team gets within a certain time period (you decide how much time depending on the groups level)they get one point. Switch teams and repeat the process.
The key of course is everyone in the team is guessing and at least 5 people from each team have to describe words.
The confusing part in this for the students sometimes is how do they describe the words. I always use animals as an examle the first time I do this with a class, just because I've encountered that almost everyone knows cat and dog in English. Describe the word cat to your students, "This is an animal that likes to eat mice, it lives in your house, Garfield is one, etc."
I hope that's a clear description of the game. I've honestly never seen this in a book before, so I like to think I invented it. It seems to me to be such a simple idea when you talk about a comunicative classroom that I wouldn't be surprised if it's been published somewhere. I hope you like it.
Thnx, Eric Knight
Irapuato, Mexico

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