More Games: Grasping Vocab & Zombie

18 Nov

Grasping Vocab

This is a fun, energising game for testing vocab groups (you could use it to recap vocab learnt last week or during the lesson).

Preparation: Everyone sits in a circle and holds out their left hand, palm upwards. Everyone then places the index finger of their right hand onto their neighbour’s left hand. Therefore, everyone should have their left hand palm up with their neighbour’s finger on it,  and their right hand’s finger resting on their neighbour’s palm.

The game: The game leader says words from a certain category e.g. types of vegetable. When a word is said that doesn’t belong to this category the group has to simultaneously try to a) remove their finger from their neighbours palm and b) catch their neighbours’ finger. You get 1 point if you catch someone’s finger and 1 point if you manage not to get caught!

Variations: Instead of one person just listing words, you can agree a category and go round the circle each saying one word. If anyone repeats a word or makes a mistake they automatically get no points and everyone else has to remove / catch fingers.


This is a fun, energising game which is useful getting students to practice speaking under time pressure.

1. Everyone stands in a circle.

2. Participant A says someone’s name in the circle (participant B) and asks them a question. Participant A then walks slowly (like a zombie) towards participant B. Participant B has to answer the question before participant A reaches them.

3. Participant B then has to choose someone else in the circle, ask them a question and then walk towards them and so on.

I’ve used this exercise with an entry 2 group to practice making excuses when people ask you if you’re free this weekend. It’s good to use it for language practice where there would be some sense of time pressure in real life.

Variations: With a group who are getting to know eachother, this can be used as a ‘name game’. Participant A chooses someone, says their name and then walks towards them. Participant B then has to choose someone else say their name and walk towards them.


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