Language, Middle School

Less and Less – A No-Prep Game to Target Describing Skills

I’m always on the hunt for no-prep, easy games that target a variety of skills. I feel like I come up with these games all of the time and wrote a goal to try and share more of them on the blog. All you need for this game is paper! A bonus would be a whiteboard and cards with basic item names or pictures on them.

To give “credit” where credit is due, this is a party game I’ve played before. I altered the rules slightly and made it more speech and language therapy friendly. Basically, there are 3 rounds. I write down strategies for each on a whiteboard so that my students can reference it throughout. The basic premise is… I put cards with basic items on them in a deck (you can also use simple picture cards). Each student has 1 minute (you can do any amount of time) to get the other students to guess as many cards from the deck as possible. I hand them to the students as they go so I can kind of customize what card they get. Other students shout out guesses as the item is described. The student describing the card keeps the card if somebody guesses it correctly. We use total cards after each round as points. Continue around the circle until the cards run out (I usually use 15 cards per game). There are 3 rounds total. See the rules and the strategies I teach for each below:

Round One:

Rule: You can describe each card in any way – acting, describing, pointing, etc.. Strategy: I encourage my students to use as many words as possible during this round (because they can’t later!). We discuss ways you can describe an item and write as many as we can think of on the board (for reference during the game). We pull out the EET and practice what each bead means. We remind ourselves about synonyms, antonyms, categories, function, etc… during the preteaching for this round.

Round Two

Rule – You can only use ONE word for each card. Strategy: We talk about main idea. If somebody describes an item in 10 ways for somebody to guess, how could we figure out what the most important information from that was? We talk about picturing a word to “reference” something that happened earlier in the game (e.g., picking a word that was used to describe the item in round 1). We talk about why using specific words matters and why single words like “big” aren’t very helpful (there are a lot of different big items). We talk about memory strategies because all of the same words are going to be repeated from round 1 – how can we recall those words quickly (sometimes I let the group “preview” the words again prior to round 2.

Round Three

Rule – No words or talking at all – only acting or pointing! Strategy – Again, we talk about pointing to or acting out things that were discussed in earlier rounds. We discuss body language and how you don’t need words to send a message.

After 3 rounds, the student with the most points wins! I love how many goals this targets and how much fun it is. I also love that it literally requires no prep time! You could even have your students submit paper slips that are used as cards. Hope you get to play the game soon!

{thanks for reading}

PS: Looking for an amazing packet of printables to target describing?! Check out my Early Describing and Categorizing Packet for over 150 pages of materials!

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