Geometry Taboo

26 May

(In honor of my ridiculously competitive and dear friend, JO.)

She helped me come up with this game and I’ve wanted to try it for a while now. It’s CST this week so I finally decided to give it a go.  It actually took much less time than expected (more than do-able in about 75 min).

It was a little tricky trying to make it work in a class setting, but let me try to explain the logistics:

  1. Example/ Basic rules Only about 3 students were familiar with the game of Taboo so I created four example cards and gave one to each student in their pods of 4. They were not to show their card to anyone else. I then told them the basic rules, that they were trying to get their group to say the word at the top without using the words underneath. Each person went around and had a turn to try this while the other members tried to guess the word.
  2. Split the class in half, then into two teams per half Treat each half as two completely separate groups that will not be interacting with each other. The green team will be playing the blue team on each half of the classroom.
  3. Create the cards 

    I think this was actually the most important part of the process, where they learned the most.I took their list of geometry vocab words and split them into two separate lists (about 17 words each). Half the list went to the green team and the other half went to the blue team, along with a stack of 17 blank cards. Each team was in charge of creating the cards for the other team to use. One stack of 17 cards per group.This was great because they had to sit there thinking about the different words to describe the main vocab word. If they didn’t know the definition, I saw them take out their notebooks and decipher the definitions they wrote down into their own words.

  4. Set up to play Mash the green and blue teams together by having them sit every other team member. Therefore, each of them should have been surrounded by someone from the opposite team.
  5. Moving the cards/ Getting the points 

    The green stack of cards will now be played the blue team and blue stack of cards will be played by the green team only.

    Each person plays ONE card, no timer.
    If they can get their teammates to say the word without using the words underneath, they get the point. If they use the word underneath (monitored by the two opposing team members to their left and right), they do NOT get the point (no negative points). After they play their one card, they pass their deck to the next teammate while the OTHER team plays.

Some of my students were very good at this. Others, TERRIBLE! I even had one student not say a single word while the rest of them yelled out guesses until he nodded enough times to lead them to the right answer. It was hilarious. This is one of the reasons why having THEM actually create the cards is worth the time.

I even tried playing this w/ the math department. It was HILARIOUS! A definitely worthy game to try.

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5 Responses to “Geometry Taboo”

  1. Sue VanHattum May 26, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    I want to try it!

  2. John Golden May 26, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    Very nice! I like coming up with the cards, but it seems like a community library of them would be good, too. Clean implementation of a classic.

  3. talkingninja June 1, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    I think you’re right. I should start making the cards for their finals review!

  4. I Speak Math April 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Thanks for explaining this so clearly! I had heard about the game and wanted the kids to make their own cards, but felt bad about that until I read this post. I’m glad that you feel the best part is when they make the cards. It makes this game much easier to implement (and better for the kids is just a bonus)!

  5. Gabrielle August 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    Well done! I learned some interesting things for me)

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