Five classic board games in class

1. Scattergories

A much-loved game all around! In Scattergories, players work to think of words or items that fit the catergories on their game card—but they have to start with a particular letter. In the official boardgame you’ll use a 20-sided lettered die, however, if you don’t have access to one you can use an app to select a letter at random. This is a great way for students to practice thinking under pressure and within the constraints of catergories.

2. Scrabble

A classic game for language learners, use Scrabble to practice spelling and challenge students’ vocabulary. Don’t be afraid to play along with them: as the teacher, you can inject interest and surprise by introducing your class to more advanced or obscure words. While playing, do remember to keep a dictionary handy to clear up any disagreements, ensure students understand parts of speech and encourage them to make other word forms (e.g., create verbs from nouns).

3. Boggle

A challenging game at any level, in Boggle, players shake 16 lettered dice and use them to find words in “adjacent” dice (these may be dice that are diagonal, horizontal or vertical neighbors). Players work individually to find as many hidden words as they can in three minutes, recording these on a piece of paper.

4. Balderdash

Sometimes called Dictionary, in Balderdash (usually advanced level) students are given a little-used or obscure English word, and asked to create a definition for it. You can make your own game and give easier words to define.

5. Taboo

Usually guaranteed to provoke chatter, Taboo asks players to make their team-mates say a given word—without using related words. For example, if Student A receives a game card with CLOWN, followed by red nose, circus, It and Krusty, then their challenge is to communicate the concept “Clown” to their team without using the associated words or concepts given on their card.

This is a good way to improve vocabulary and spelling skills by putting the focus on student interactions!