“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” By Michael Jordan

With more ‘old school’ game shows coming back to mainstream television again. It is only fitting we add them into the classroom* as well. Below is how I adapted the games Password and Knockout = Password Knockout as Passout just didn’t seem to work. 😉

Original Password Game: Participants are paired with a ‘star’ celebrity trying to correctly guess a secret word their teammate knew. They could only give one word hints and if the pair got it wrong, gameplay passed to the other team. It would keep passing back and forth until one team guessed the “password”. 

Original Knockout Game: Players are shown a list of four words and the first player to buzz-in would have to guess which one didn’t belong and how the other three were connected. A right answer earned a player a letter in the word “KNOCKOUT” which was displayed on their podium in front of them. In possibly gain more letters, the player with the right answer had a chance dare one of the other players to answer. The first player to light up “KNOCKOUT” won the game.

Our Game- Password Knockout: Very similar to the original game password but all of our “passwords” pertain to units of study concepts and/or vocabulary words.  For example: ecosystems – all the passwords would be related to ecosystems such as abiotic or consumers. The words are behind the head of the guesser so the person giving the clue and the audience/class can also view too. Whichever team guesses the password correctly moves on and dares a different team. The other team is knocked out. The final team ‘standing’ wins. 

Rules: In pairs, they will have to decide who will be the clue giver (one word hint) and who will be the guesser. When it is their turn, a word will flash up behind the partner’s head. They must give a one word clue in less than 30 seconds or they will be eliminated. If they give more than one clue, they are eliminated.

The End Goal/Result: This game helps students strengthen all 4’cs (communication, collaboration, creativity and critically think) and the content area knowledge. This also works for grades 3rd-12 and adults. 

*Note: I have also used this in professional developments. I used the topic personalized learning so all words were on this topic such as choice, pace and ownership.

Helpful Hints/Notes: 

  • To see who goes up against each other first you will want teams to either pick a number (ex: 1-10) and who ever is closes gets to decide if they want to go first or dare someone else OR you can pull team names to decide who goes first.
  • Passwords: Make sure to have a list of words ready before hand. I placed them on Google Slide so that I could just flip through them. You could also have a list and write them on a whiteboard behind the guesser head.
  • To make sure student are engaged when it is not their turn; have them create a two column chart and play along. One column says Password and the other column says clue.
  • A misconception is that you have to play this whole group. You can play this in small groups and use the vocabulary that the small groups need to work on to individualize it more per group.
  • Alternative version: In teams of four one person is the guesser and the team each gets to pick one word to tell their guesser. The teams have to silently work together to pick the best words without duplicating. To do this they can not talk to each other but can write on their whiteboards and or post-it notes to determine which words they want to use. Each player must contribute and say a word.


Comments on: "How to Play Password Knockout" (1)

  1. […] How to Play Password Knockout #gbl Inside the classroom, outside the box! …eclassroomoutsidethebox.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/how… […]

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