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What's the Word?




  • Arts & Humanities


  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

In Secret Word, students work in teams and use clues to identify a word that only one team member knows.



  • exercise vocabulary and thinking skills.
  • work cooperatively with teammates.
  • follow game instructions.


game, vocabulary, word, secret, team

Materials Needed

  • word list

Lesson Plan

In Secret Word, teams of students try to guess a word from clues given by a teammate who knows it. The activity may be adapted for any subject by selecting an appropriate list of "secret words."

To set the stage for this game, set two chairs in front of the room and divide the students into two teams. Players will take turns in the role of the child who is "in the know." Have one representative from each team take a seat in the chair and face his (or her) teammates.

Reveal the secret word to the two students in the chairs. Choose one of those students as the first to give a clue to his team. Clues must be relevant to the word and cannot include the word itself. The team confers briefly and makes a guess. If it is incorrect, the second team takes its turn with a clue and guess. Play alternates until one team guesses the secret word and wins a point. The team that does not receive the point gets to go first with the next secret word.

For example, given the secret word "apple"

  • " Player one says, "fruit."
  • Her team's guess is "salad."
  • Player two says, "red."
  • His team guesses "strawberry."
  • Player one says, "Doctor."
  • Her team guesses "apple" and receives a point.
  • The team of player two will go first with the next word.


    The team with the most points when time is up wins the game.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    Submitted By

    Cara Bafile

    National Standards

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
    NL-ENG.K-12.5 Communication Strategies
    NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge
    NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

    Find more great learning games in Education World's Learning Games Archive.