Posts tagged ‘Games’

How to Play Password Knockout

“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.


Apples to Apples…Edu Style!

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Plato

This week I tried something new in a professional development I conducted by adding games to make it more active. One of the games we played was apples to apples…edu style. My goal was for my participants to practice thinking about words that related to ‘Personalized Learning’ in a different way and it worked. The participants loved playing! They also used their creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills. It was a great way for them to practice the content without doing a boring worksheet!

Let’s back track a little to better understand what the original game of Apples to Apples is, for those that have not played before. In Apples to Apple, a “judge” lays a category word or phrase and participants have to secretly lay a card from their hand that they believe best represents the phrase. The judge selects which card was the closest, whomever’s card they chose earns a point. To win the game when playing with four players, you need obtain eight points but before playing you can decide how many points you want to play to.

My Version: 

Using the awesome website, Fruit to Fruit Card Generator, I created my own cards. A random participant goes first as judge and pulls the top green card. Everyone, besides the judge, writes* a word that they believe most closely matches this phrase. The judge selects which word they believe most closely aligns to the phrase. The original author “keeps” the word they chose. Players earn one point whenever their word is selected; play continues until someone earns 10 points. *Learn from my mistake, make sure everyone has a dry erase marker that is the same color. This way the judge doesn’t know who played what card.

Directions for making cards:

  1. On the green cards I wrote a word that associated with Personalized Learning for the ‘title’ and on ‘line one’ I put my department on it. (You can put your class name or subject etc to help stay organized.)
  2. Then click ‘make my card’
  3. In a different tab make a document (word or google)
  4. Right click and copy the image of the card and put it into the document. (Hint: make a chart to ‘hold’ each card in the document, it makes it easier and more organized).
  5. I repeated this until I was finished with my word list.
  6. Make one red card; putting ‘word or phrase’ as the ‘title’ and again I put my department name on ‘line one’. (This card is where the players will write their answer.)
  7. Laminate them so you can use them over and over with dry erase makers.

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3 ways you can use Apples to Apples in the classroom:

  • English: Practice Vocabulary (this actually works for any subject)
  • Math: Put an answer on the card and students chose how to solve it and the judge picks their favorite way. (Ex: 40 would be on the side and students can put ex: 8*5= 40, 20+20 = 40)
  • History: Put events on the side and the students need to put worlds related to that event. (Ex: World War II – students could write D Day, 1939 or Germany)

I would love to hear ways you can use this in the classroom or in a professional development. Please share in the comments.



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