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Tutor Time activity – 20 Words or Less

October 30, 2011

Here’s a tutor time activity I’m trying out this week. I’d love you to try it and then hear your comments. Specifically:

  1. Are the instructions clear enough?
  2. Is the scoring clear enough?
  3. Are any of the words too hard?
  4. What year group you tried this with.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy it!

This is version two thanks to some great points from MaxStone in the comments.
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6 Comments
  1. Janshs permalink

    I really like this idea. A great way of doing a mid session plenary or even as a starter activity to check prior learning if geared to keywords or concepts. I hope you won’t mind – I am going to share this with every teacher in my school! Thank you!

  2. Anonymous permalink

    Looks great to me. Would I be correct in thinking it has been influenced by the game Articulate? I don’t know if you’ve played that, but it has similar ideas. The main differences being that the number of words you use when describing in Articulate is irrelevant and you are allowed to point and/or mime.I have identified a few questions I have with the rules, I hope these help:One rule that you haven’t included that Articulate uses (which is probably not applicable because of the 20 word limit) is the idea of saying how many letters the word has. Another rule from Articulate that I think would be relevant is not allowing "sounds like…/rhymes with…" (e.g. if it was car, you couldn’t say sounds like/rhymes with jar).Something I’m not clear on, is the number of words used when using a hyphenated word. Your example appears to count nee-naw as two separate words, as your example says 14 words were used, which is only true if new and naw are counted as separate words. By the same logic, up-to-date would presumably be counted as three words, which might surprise some people. Would x-ray count as two words? I would suggest hyphenated words be treated as one word to prevent confusion and/or disagreement. Either way, how may words they count as should be clearly explained in the rules.Presumably the descriptions are spoken and not written down? Additionally, if you can’t use a word in your description, this counts for all descriptions? So all of your five words are banned from all of your descriptions, even if the current description is describing a word that doesn’t contain the banned word?Also, what happens if you use the same word in two different descriptions? Does that count as one word or two?Additionally, what are the consequences of accidentally using a banned word?I look forward to hearing your reply.

  3. Anonymous permalink

    JanshsYep that’s a good point.You’re welcome to share: please include a link to this website and ask for comments about the resource.

  4. Anonymous permalink

    Thanks so much @maxstone I suspected I could rely on you for careful rule questioning.Not inspired by Articulate as it happens (I’ve never played it but hear it’s good).Sounds like/Rhymes with rule has been added."Saying how many letters" I’ll allow as it would use lots of your words (as you say).The hyphenated thing was a mistake. They count as one word.Descriptions are spoken – yes. I think I probably don’t need to clarify this in the rules.I’m going to fudge the ‘not using a word in the description’ Q by sort of thinking that if a word has been guessed it can be used to help describe future words. (Not sure if this will come up.)Using the same word in two descriptions will probably count as two since you’d have to write down what was said otherwise. I’m going to let this one go and see if anyone flags it up as a problem.Consequence for breaking the rules has been added.Again, thanks very much.

  5. chris_1974 permalink

    I played this with my Y11 on Monday (interestingly having played Taboo with my kids at the weekend!).1. Rules straightforward, although hyphens (as discussed above) need a ruling. We discussed it as a class to decide, giving owner ship of that rule.2. Quite enjoyed it myself! Our Head of English popped in, and was quite interested, so I’ve sent her the link too.What I find interesting is that this is a mathematicians approach (efficiency of language) rather than an English teacher approach (use more creative descriptive writing). What was really good was the thinking that went into clues. I might give pairs the words in advance, to give them more planning time!Thankyou!

  6. Anonymous permalink

    @chirs_1974Glad you’ve tried it and I like your point about it being a ‘mathematical’ way of viewing language.I’ve clarified the hyphen situation if you want to download a new copy.Pleased to hear it’s being shared around further.Dave

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