For developing communication skills, noticing how we communicate.

Consensus on all things

This game is for practising consensus and ensuring the participation of every player.

Joker gives the same question or proposition to all players.
Every player writes down their answer.
Players then share their answers in pairs. If they have consensus, they then find another pair and try to reach consensus again.
If the pair does not agree, they try to convince each other, or to modify the answer until they can both agree.
The goal is to reach consensus among all the players.

Ten Levels of "So..."

Like Ten Levels of Why, but going the other direction.

Start with the last reason given in Ten Levels of Why.

Spoken version:
The player says her/his sentence out loud, then one person says, "so...?"
The player must give a consequence; "So..."
Then another person asks "So...?" and the player must give a consequence that flows from the previous statement... and so on, until ten so's have been asked and answered.
At the end, the person repeats the original sentence and the tenth consequence.

Face the Class

This basic format is useful in many games.

On the board is written the clue, answer, hint, etc.

The player(s) stand in front of the board, facing their team(s). The team members (freely, or in turns) call out hints and the player tries to guess/identify what is written behind them.

Team members can also do pantomime, or even statues, in lieu of speaking.

The Last Word

Like shiritori only you use the last word of the previous sentence to start the next.


I woke up this morning --> Morning is my favorite time of day. --> Day after day, I try to learn something....

In this form, it is boring -- the sentences are meaningless. Maybe if you set a theme? Maybe make it a dialogue?

Grammar verification

This is useful but always subordinate to content generation and effective communication, unless it is the subject of the game.

If people are playing a game like One Word At A Time, it can be good to have them write the sentence on the board at the end, read for content (humor, joy, confusion), then use the person with most fluency to do a grammar check (or use Linguee or other sources).

Permutation Game

Learned this from students in my Critical Reading course. They used PPT to run the game.

Jokers take quotes from famous people (thematic quotes are best), scramble the words and write them on the board (or ppt). In teams, players compete to re-write the sentences, one word at a time, in correct order. There is a strict time limit of 2 minutes.

Feel Funky

Working with a group that was already familiar with my Feel Free mantra, I added another term: feel funky. I use them term the way Cornel West uses it, to capture creativity and energy born of the grit and grasp of reality, to suggest the freak and the insubordinate joy of life. Play P-Funk or Sun Ra or Mingus.


Give people a list of [musicians] and ask them to choose one person whose music they do not know. Their task is to find music by that person online, listen to it, choose one and post a link (or the video/audio itself) in the online group with a comment about the music. Players are then asked to listen to each other's chosen music and add their own comments, to which the original poster should reply.

You can add a layer by asking people to research the background of the musical piece or the musician and post a summary. This can be very good practice for simple citation.

The Marshmallow Challenge