Name Game


The purpose of this activity is for students to practice asking key questions that will help them identify an object, place, or thing.


  1. The teacher prepares a set of images or pictures of key people, places, or things from a unit or series of lessons. An image is taped to each student’s back.  Make sure the image is visible to everyone else. 

    Note:  To the extent possible, each student should have a different image or picture.

  2. Students walk around the room asking only yes/no questions (e.g., if the unit is Animal Friends, the questions might be Am I fast? Do I eat meat?  Do I live in India?) in order to figure out what image they have taped to their backs.

  3. When students are ready to guess, they go to the teacher to say who they are with one fact to support their guess. (e.g., I am a panda (because) I eat bamboo.)

  4. If the student’s guess is incorrect, the teacher sends the student back to ask more questions.

  5. After the student guesses correctly, the teacher can give the student a different image and the process of walking around the room asking questions begins again.

Adaptation for Online/Distance Learning

  1. Synchronous:

    The teacher shuffles image cards and randomly selects one, holding it up to their forehead without looking at the card. Using a randomizer to select a student or taking volunteers, the teacher asks specific students Yes/No questions to try to discover what the image on the card is.

Helpful Tips

  1. Variation: If the teacher gives no/minimal scaffolding or support to the students about the questions to ask, this activity transitions to the You do alone phase of the GRR.

  2. Implement this activity with more structure using a strategy to organize how students will circulate around the room to ask questions (like Inner Circle/Outer Circle, Rotating Partners, etc.)

  3. This activity will be most successful if implemented towards the end of a unit after students are very familiar with the key questions and key vocabulary of the unit.

  4. Taping a picture or image (instead of just a word) to the students' backs will help students answering questions visualize the person, place, or thing and be accurate in their answers.

  5. Types of scaffolding to support the questions students ask:

    • list all possible complete questions on the board or projector
    • list all possible question starters (question words/no question words)
    • list all appropriate question words


  1. Students at lower grades or lower proficiency levels can ask questions with a word or words.

  2. The teacher may want to ask additional questions about the image before giving students a new image.

  3. For students with higher proficiency levels: Instead of yes/no questions, students must ask questions using narrow “describe” statements. (e.g., Describe what I eat. Describe how I move. Describe where I live.) The answering student responds by describing as fully as possible. This differentiated activity will take longer than noted above.


  1. Images or pictures of key people, places, or things in a unit or lesson.


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