Community Level 1 – Acquainted
How to Play: The group sits in a circle. One person is chosen to
stand in the middle of the circle with a card taped to her back. On the
card is a word that names a person, place, or thing. The word can be
related to subjects the class is studying, such as fish, mountains,
rivers, capitols, books, characters, etc. The child with the card on
her back can ask up to twenty yes-or-no questions to try to figure out
what word is written on her back. Each time a question is asked, the
class responds with thumbs up to indicate “yes” or thumbs down to
indicate “no”. To increase the difficulty, the group can agree ahead of
time that certain questions or types of questions are not allowed. The
child can make a guess at any time with a maximum of three guesses.
After twenty questions, the child can ask for clues from the class
before making a final guess.
Plan for Success:
Differentiation technique: If you are using this game for review with
older primary or intermediate students, brainstorm words related to the
unit or topic, choose words from the list to guess, and students can ask
their questions with the list as a reference point. This helps
encourage full participation, because even those less well prepared can
focus on the list and learn a lot while playing.
Getting to Know You Activity: The class could play this game with
students’ names on the cards. The student in the middle could ask
questions to try to figure out which classmate’s name is on his back.
To teach questioning: After playing the game, discuss the types of
questions that were asked during the activity. Since the questions are
all “yes” and “no” questions, they don’t reveal a great deal of
information. This would be an appropriate time to talk about “surface”
questions and “digging” questions. “Surface” questions would be the kind
the students were asking in the game. “Digging” questions would be
those that cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no” answer; they require
that more explanation be given. As a class, you could brainstorm types
of “digging” questions with emphasis on the question starters: How? Why?
This game is similar to “Guess the Number.”