This is a great game to revise vocabulary and you can use it with any age group and any level by changing the category headings.

Jo Budden

It really gets students focused and working on tasks as a team and can be a saviour to fill the last ten minutes of a class when you have run out of ideas!


  • Put the students into teams of three or four.
  • Draw on the board a table like the ones below and get each team to copy it onto a piece of paper.
  • Students simply have to think of one item to go in each category beginning with the set letter.
  • Give an example line of answers for the first time you play with a new group. The first team to finish shouts “Stop the Bus!” .
  • Check their answers and write them up on the board and if they are all okay that team wins a point. If there are any mistakes in their words, let the game continue for another few minutes.
  • If it gets too difficult with certain letters (and you can’t think of one for each category) reduce the amount of words they have to get. You can say. “Ok. For this round you can Stop the Bus with 4 columns”.


T tiger turquoise tuna trousers Tunisia tennis

For higher levels change the category headings. For example:

  Something in the kitchen
Something in the living room
Something in the bedroom
Something in the bathroom
Something in the office
Something in the garden
S spices sofa sheet soap staples seat

Or, for even higher levels:

  Something made of metal
Something made of glass
Something made of plastic
Something made of wood
Something made of material
B bike bottle bin bench belt


From my experience students (and teachers!) really love this game. I never thought about changing the headings though to e.g. 'things you find in the kitchen'.  I think this will work really well. Thanks.  

This game is very funny and entertaining. My students will reinforce vocabulary and have fun in the same time. I''ll do this activity as soon as possible.thanks

I haven't done this with categories but might give it a go with some of my lower ability students but, I do a variation with building silly sentences and working through the alphabet.
They have to do this formula as a basic: adjective, noun, verb, noun adverb e.g.

Angry ants ate apples avidly.

Or to encourage adverb sentence starters (for sophictaction and commas) I switch the adverb to start.
If they have a sentence in the chart they really love they can add connectives (of any letter or phrasing to increase use of sophistacted connectives) and add more adverbs and nouns into the mix but to let them go through letters quicker (some are tough and required internet searches beyond our limited thesauri ) I limit the sentences they expand to a set number. say pick top 3-5. Can be used quick or allowed to run through the alphabet for fun before end of terms

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