Charades - Modified

The purpose of this activity is to check for learning and build recall of key or target vocabulary for a lesson. In this modified version of Charades, students work in pairs to provide maximum amount of participation for each learner. Pairing students also allows the teacher to move around the classroom to monitor participation, to provide support, and to give feedback as necessary.


  1. Teacher models the steps of the activity by acting out movements or gestures and asking first the whole class and then individual students to recall the key or target vocabulary identified through the movement or gesture.  Teacher checks for understanding of the purpose and procedure of the activity.

  2. The teacher divides students into pairs, indicating who is Partner A and who is Partner B,  and sets a timer to signal the conclusion of the activity.

  3. Partner A performs a movement or gesture that connects to one key vocabulary item; Partner B identifies it. The partners switch roles and repeat this process with each of the key vocabulary items until the timer goes off.

  4. Throughout the activity, the teacher circulates in the room, monitoring participation, providing feedback,  and noting any gaps in learning to be addressed in subsequent activities.

  5. Optional:  Gamify this activity.  E.g. Students keep track of how many items they “charade” in the given time and try to improve on that number.

Helpful Tips

  1. Keep list of key vocabulary to 10 or less

  2. Keep timeframe for activity short

  3. Can be combined with a Line-Up structure with students going through the “charade” activity with a different partner


  1. Prior to this activity, students should have an input activity focusing on key or target vocabulary

  2. Students might need a list of key or target vocabulary to ensure focus during pair work.