Stop the bus

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 task as a team and can be a saviour to fill the last ten minutes on 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 four columns.'
  animals colours food clothes countries sports
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

First published 2009

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