This is useful for both breaking the ice and for encouraging language skills in students learning English.
Think up a word that applies to whatever lesson you have in mind. On the whiteboard, draw spaces corresponding to the letters, just as in the Hangman game. (For the word "game," for example, you'd draw: _ _ _ _.) Have the class guess at the letters...but instead of drawing a hanging man when they guess incorrectly, gradually draw a picture of what the mystery word describes. This will help them get it.
For students learning English as a second language, try including the word in both English and their native tongue. For example, to explain my free psychoeducational project to Spanish-speaking adults, I drew four spaces for "faro" and ten for "lighthouse." (My project's logo features a lighthouse, the one at Pharos.) The exercise isn't finished until they get both words.
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