No lo digas (Taboo)

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Objective: find strategies to explain words

Required materials: cards and virtual board (see resources below)

Preparation: none (once you print and cut the cards)

Time: at least 30 minutes

Number of students: at least 4

How to play:

This in an adaptation of the popular Taboo board game. Students will have to come up with smart strategies to explain words, while competing with each other. It can be played in small groups or with the whole class, so it has all the ingredients to be a super successful recurring activity for any level.

Use the above resources to have your set of cards. It's totally worth it to take some time to print them, cut them and laminate them since they will give you endless hours of meaningful fun in the class.

Once you have your cards ready, divide the class in two groups. The first group will choose a person, and that student will go to the front of the class. Give a card to that student, who will try to explain the word in capital letters without using any of the 5 words listed below in the card.

Students are not allowed to use mimic or similar words. For example, if one of the taboo words is jugar, they can't use a conjugation of that verb (jugamos or juego).


Each student will have a minute (use the video of the virtual board) to explain as many words as they can. They will get a point for each word their group guesses correctly, and they will lose one point every time they use a taboo word.

The game ends when everybody has been in the front of the class explaining words. At that moment, the group with more points will be the winner.

Alternative option:

Once students are familiar with the game, they can play in small groups. Just give them some cards and allow them to use a watch, phone, tablet or Chromebook to time 1 minute. They will also keep track of the score and take turns to explain the words.

Students can also make new cards about topics they like (they can include words recently learnt in class and popular characters such as Harry Potter or celebrities). Just share with them this template and ask them to override the words of the second slide. If they want to do even more, they can clone that page and keep going. Then, they can share them with you so you can print them and laminate them.

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