Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I am thinking of a word that rhymes with....

Looking for an easy filler?

The fast and the dirty rules:

To start the teacher thinks of a word and writes it on a piece of paper (to prevent cheating later) and says says, “I am thinking of a word that rhymes with frog”

Then students try to guess the word, but instead of saying their guess they give a hint, “Is it an animal cats fear?”

Now the teacher has to figure out what animal they are guessing and respond “No it is not a dog”

“Is it another word for a pig?”

“No it's not a hog.”

“Is it something people use to write online?”

“No it's not a blog”

“Is it what happens when the sky is really thick and you can't see through it?”

“I don't know” (The teacher doesn't know! So the person has to tell the word they meant.)

“Is it fog?” (This person gets a participation token/point for stumping the “teacher”)

“No it's not”

“Is it a slow run?”

“Yes it's a jog!”

If they guess correctly then they get to be the teacher and think of a word for the class to guess (and get a token).

This is even better than the teacher thinking since students have to try and guess what the students are thinking when they propose a rhyme.

  • I normally let them guess until they get it but sometimes I'll cap it at 20 guesses. It's usually my end of class filler, so I try to get students to beat their score (can you guess in less than 5 this time?). If it takes more than 20 guesses then the person who thought of the unknown word “wins.”
  • You can give more clues according to the class, so if you are practicing syllables (teaching superlative perhaps?): “I am thinking of a two syllable word that rhymes with _______”
  • Use it to practice parts of speech, “I am thinking of a verb that rhymes with frog” (clog, flog, jog, snog, etc.) This can be hard so consider omitting the rhyming.
  • Another way to make the game easier is to get change the rhyming aspect. “I'm thinking of an animal that starts with a D” (Dragon, Dinosaur, Dog, Duck, Deer, Dolphin, Donkey, Dove, Dragonfly, etc.)
  • If you are giving out participation tokens you can give it to students if they guess correctly (a good way to get students involved) or if they posit a guess that the thinker can't guess.
  • With upper level students I tend to exclude words with suffixes, otherwise trying to guess all the words that rhyme with nation is rather hard and time consuming.
  • Play it like Alternative Hangman where students have to answer review questions and only if they get a review question right are they allowed to guess.
  • You can also play it as a team game where correct guesses or stumping the “teacher” gets your team points. To keep it going fast you can cap it at 10 guesses.

Why is this game good?

It helps them practice rhymes
It helps them practice interrogative statements (making questions).
It helps them practice basic vocabulary and defining words in English.
Most importantly it helps them practice thinking and forming sentences in English.
Students like it!

Much thanks to Lauren, one of the awesome ladies I studied with in Spain, for introducing me to this game. She got us all hooked on it when we were waiting in line or on long public transportation rides.


  1. very interactive game..this will make kids learn more fast..

    Hangman Games Online

    1. Glad you like it, and you're right it is very interactive! I also see you have linked to hangman, have you checked out the twist I play with my students for hangman?

  2. Hi Carissa,

    Just to let you know that we’ve shortlisted this blog post for this month’s TeachingEnglish blog award and I’ll be making a post about it on today’s TeachingEnglish facebook page, if you’d like to check there for comments.


    1. Thanks for the heads up Ann I'll be sure to keep an eye on it :-)


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