Great games for the language classroom: Blockbusters

A natural feature of game shows is that contestants have to struggle to recall the correct word for the answer. So, why not adapt these game formats for grammar or vocabulary revision? Another classic that I often use is Blockbusters' because it nicely offers the students a chance to work in teams and pool knowledge. In this game, contestants are given the first letter of a word and have to guess it from a definition. ‘What ‘b’ is a long yellow fruit?’ I have a PowerPoint that is beautifully formatted and easy to use in your classroom. Here's a short video clip in which I explain how to prepare the game for class: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL3ehFbw3mo If you want to download the PowerPoint template, here's the link: http://www.yearinthelifeofanenglishteacher.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Blockbusters.ppt Why do I like this?

  1. Most students are familiar this game, so you don't need a lot of explanation to set it up.
  2. It's flexible: you can use it for vocabulary mainly, but also for verb tenses.
  3. You can easily adapt the difficulty level. You can give the first letter of the word, the first two letters or just a number if you want to make it really challenging.
  4. It's fun and builds up motivation to complete the game.

If you have any ideas about how to use this in class, please comment!

Average: 4.3 (6 votes)


naomishema's picture

Using a game students are familair with is a huge bonus as you don't have to waste time explaining the rules. Especially as kids (and adults!) don't like listening to rules!In addition, they get a lot of work done without them really noticing it as it is FUN!Thanks for sharing the powerpoint!Naomi

Yearinthelifeof's picture

Yes, naomishema the value of a task which everyone recognizes is immense. I think dressing up real work in a fun way is also invaluable. You can do some real revision and sometimes your students don't even realize you've fooled them into working!

merveoflaz's picture

This is another great post from you. I'll try this soon. Thank you for the files you shared.

Yearinthelifeof's picture

You're welcome, merveoflaz. These have served me well over the years, so I'm very happy to share!