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Building Vocab through Charades

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I use the game of "Guesstures" - basically a charades game that contains hundreds of cards with words that can easily (and not so easily) be described using the body (Words like ape, amnesia, flirt, braid, jaw, acne, mosquito, swallow.) During a one-on-one lesson, it gets pretty boring to play "Guesstures" so I have thought of a way to only use the cards for a short activity.

Give them a pile of cards and have them pick out 10 words that they have never seen. Write them down on flash cards. Then define them one by one using words and gestures. Decide together on one gesture that will signify the word.

Then shuffle the flash cards. First, only the teacher is allowed to look and the teacher provides gestures to all the cards with the student to guess the words. Then it's the student's turn.

The next time you meet, pick out 10 more cards and define them. THEN, add the previously learned cards into the pile of flash cards. This is an easy way to build vocabulary. Before you know it, they have learned 100 new words.

I guess you can make up your own words but the cards from the Guesstures game is particularly suited to using body language. I advise private tutors to invest in the game just for the cards.

This activity is even more fun to play in tutoring groups of 3 or 4.

Helen, Queens, NY

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