Using Pictionary to Learn New Vocabulary

One of my all-time favorite games is Pictionary because a child as young as 3 years old or a 70-year old adult can easily play the game! In Pictionary, two teams compete against each other and try to obtain the most points of possible. To achieve a point, one member of a team is given a word and required to draw a picture while the other members in the team attempt to guess the word.

I often play this game with my preschool or Kindergarten students when teaching them new words because kids love drawing! I saw that when students were asked to draw a word, they retained the word’s meaning more. This was particularly effective with ELL (English Language Learner) students who were learning new words in English.

One of my students Christopher was learning about animals, so we played Pictionary several times until we compiled 9 different drawings. I drew half of the animals and he drew the other half. Afterwards, we wrote out the name of each animal so he could learn how to spell each word. We compiled the photos together and made a cover page so that we could create a booklet. Later on, I saw my student reading the words on his own!

Christopher really loved drawing the photos and had strong student engagement while he learned new vocabulary. Luckily, Pictionary works for various other subjects too like learning math and science terms (ex: learning shapes)! Here are pictures from the Pictionary booklet that Christopher and I made together:














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