The Taboo Game – Getting to “Why”

Irina Levy - Pathways Teachers Fellow 2017-2018
  • Version
  • Download 868
  • File Size 84.38 KB
  • File Count 1
  • Create Date June 9, 2019
  • Last Updated July 13, 2019

The Taboo Game - Getting to "Why"


Irina Levy



The objective of this activity is to practice oral and writing skills. In terms of grammar, this activity primarily focuses on Past Simple. In addition, it aims to practice specific negotiation elements as well as HOTS.



Prepare cards that name different emotions (e.g., surprise, fear, disgust, trust etc.). Write one word/emotion per card.



Students work in pairs. Students play the "Taboo Game". Once the game starts, students can't talk to each other. One of the students (student A) gets a card, he/she needs to make up and write down a sentence that explains the emotion written on the card (e.g., "I am surprised because my parents decided to buy me a new phone"), then he/she needs to convey this emotion using facial expression only: no words, no gestures!  Once another student (student B) identifies his/her partner's emotion, he/she asks "Why are you [surprised]?". A explains the reason. B asks for more details, i.e., why his/her partner felt that way, etc. If the guess was wrong, B needs to explain why he/she thought his partner was [emotion]. Then A can reveal his/her emotion: "I am actually [emotion]". Then they have the same 'why' conversation. Students share their experiences/stories with the class.



45 minutes



Grammar: focus on Past Simple.

Vocabulary: taboo, convey, facial expression, reveal, gesture, triumph, spread over, stare, desperate, appeal, flush, make an effort.



"A smile of triumph spread over his [Mr. Kelada's] face. He was about to speak. Suddenly he caught sight of Mrs. Ramsay's face. It was so white that she looked as though she were about to faint. She was staring at him with wide and terrified eyes. They held a desperate appeal… Mr. Kelada stopped with his mouth open. He flushed deeply. You could almost see the effort he was making over himself."

If Mrs. Ramsay were able to speak to Mr. Kelada, what would she say? Write a dialogue between Mrs. Ramsay and Mr. Kelada.

If Mrs. Ramsay and Mr. Kelada had a conversation, would the ending of the story be the same? Why or why not?

Attached Files

The Taboo Game - Getting to Why.pdfDownload