Today was my seniors' last regular day of class. In both my World Literature and Journalism classes, we concluded the year with a game of Articulate. Featuring elements of both Charades and Taboo, the game requires players to describe to their team members a variety of people, places, things, and actions within a 30-second turn.
It's exciting, fast-paced, and rewards students for being knowledgeable and - you guessed it - articulate. When students get on a roll and they're in-sync with each other, teams can guess five or six items within the half-minute window. When students get stumped or spend too much time on one particular card (they're allowed to skip once), one or sometimes no correct answers are given.
I enjoy playing it with my students because it gives those who have different strengths and areas of expertise a chance to put their skills to use. For example, when the "nature" card comes up, students who are good in biology and the sciences are the best describers, as they're able to quickly break down the item on their card for their group to guess. The same goes for the "geography" and "people" cards. Students with specific knowledge can help their teams win, their smarts rewarding them with instant social capital.
The game is also great for team building. In my Journalism class, we played seniors vs. underclassmen, and the seniors narrowly scraped out a victory, despite having almost twice as many players. The members of the class of 2010 left the game with their dignities in tact, while the sophomores and juniors had every right to feel proud as they held their own.