Thinking sideways

I adapted these slightly from activities in the book Intraemprendizaje by Iñazio Irizar (

Brainstorm on a given theme from six standpoints. For example:
Love, Hate, Need, Have, Fear, Hope
Useful, Useless, Safe, Dangerous, Easy, Difficult
or, using terms adapted from Edward de Bono (


I adapted this slightly from an activity in the book Intraemprendizaje by Iñazio Irizar (

For collective brainstorming. In groups of four, in four minutes, each person writes four ideas on a sheet of paper then passes the paper to the next person. Repeat until each sheet has ideas from all four people. Repeat as necessary.

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?

Jokers as Scribes

What should jokers do when groups or teams are up and running in an activity and they are no longer needed? One good role they can play is as scribes for the teams, taking notes on the conversation, documenting their work (in writing, on video, photos), etc.

Other roles:

  • observers, watching the dynamics and process
  • go-fers, getting the groups anything they need, moving furniture, etc.
  • DJ, playing background music

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.