Shape Taboo

Shape - a maths gameThis is a superb mathematics activity based on the game of 'Taboo'. The focus here is on shape vocabulary.

The download contains 27 cards featuring shape related words. The game is for two players, a 'reader' and a 'guesser' The object of the game is for the 'reader' to help his/her partner (the 'guesser') to identify the correct vocabulary word on the card. The 'reader' must describe the word as clearly as possible without using any of the 'Taboo words.

For example, the first player might have to get the 'guesser' to say "triangle" but is not permitted ot use the words "three", "point" or "angle". triangle - shape game This forces the 'reader' to think carefully when describing the object/item. Statements such as:

"This is a 2 dimension object with a number of straight sides - it can be formed from half a square - it will tesselate - six of them could be placed together to form a hexagon..."

... would all be allowed.

The other 'guesser' may make as many guesses as necessary.

The 'reader', however, is not allowed to gesture or use drawing s to help them.

Once the 'guesser' has correclty identified the item it is their turn to choose a card.

Alternative:

Use a timer - once the 'guesser' has identified the word on the card, the 'reade' moves on to the next card, trying to get as many words as possible in the allotted time. When time runs out, play passes to the next adjacent player of the other team.

Use counters - the 'guesser' receives one counter for a correct guess. The 'reader' loses a counter if a "taboo" word is spoken.

 taboo shape game

 


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45 Comments

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marykaracalik's picture

This looks great and I would

This looks great and I would like to adapt it to cover vocabulary relating to calculation as that is a focus for us. Thanks
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johdu's picture

marykaracalik, That's a great

marykaracalik,

That's a great idea. If you want to share your 'calculation' version of this resource please contact us - we would really love to feature it here.

John

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yoyo123's picture

 we are working hard on

 we are working hard on getting children to discuss and talk about their maths, so this will be excellent. Thinking of using it for the more able year 5s, but could be adapted. Thank you.
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sassyl's picture

Looking forward to playing

Looking forward to playing this with my Year 4s as a mental and oral starter.
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You read my mind....  I was

You read my mind....  I was thinking about making something just like this! Thank you for saving me the time and effort.  This is perfect for helping students think "outside the box". Unfortunately, the "boxes" that get their attention these days are ones that dull their brain activity. :-P  I think verbal games in math help them comprehend what they do on paper and we get a sense of what they know pretty quickly. It also helps the audio learners in class stay engaged. 
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Nikidor's picture

 Thanks - another great

 Thanks - another great resource, and one which I'll share with our learning support department too!
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DHELLER's picture

 I used this with Year 8 set

 I used this with Year 8 set 2 (who needed practice in listenning to each other!) and Year 11 set 5 who needed practice talking about shapes. Both groups really got into the game element and were surprisingly good at describing thw words.
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johdu's picture

That's great to hear.

That's great to hear. Especially pleased to find out that this maths shape activity is working well with KS3 children.

John

 

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rebeccalaura's picture

 This is a great activity. We

 This is a great activity. We used it this week as a whole class activity and my students loved it. Would love to see some more cards added. Next time we use it I am going to add 'it begins with the letter... ' to the taboo list.
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johdu's picture

Thanks for this. Yes, that's

Thanks for this. Yes, that's a useful extra rule to keep the focus on the mathematical language and not just the 'words'!  
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 What a good idea to help

 What a good idea to help children with their vocabulary.
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kjevans's picture

What a super way of getting

What a super way of getting children to use vocabulary. I know my class will love this game. Many thanks
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Jacinta's picture

Great resource, I have used

Great resource, I have used this in my maths rotations and its a great way of getting the students to use the language
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 I love taboo!!! I will enjoy

 I love taboo!!! I will enjoy playing this with my children :)
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pippag's picture

Another fantastic shape

Another fantastic shape resource for Chrismaths week. Will be challenging for some!
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cahillj86's picture

This is a very useful

This is a very useful resource. Mathematical vocabulary is particularly important for children to grasp and use confidently. I have used the resource in 3 ways- 1. A child describes the top word without using the taboo words. 2. The word at the top is given to the class and they have to guess what the taboo words could be. 3. I have used the cards as an example for the children to then create their own versions for other areas of mathematical vocabulary.
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johdu's picture

Some terrific adaptations, I

Some terrific adaptations, I particularly like the idea of asking the children to guess the likely taboo words! - thank you for sharing.
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elliottcharlene's picture

 Idea resource to use on its

 Idea resource to use on its own or to support a feelie bag activity where the kids may need a little help with the vocab :) 
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L's picture

wOW EXCELLENT GAME AM GONNA

wOW EXCELLENT GAME AM GONNA LAMINATE AND PLAY TOMORROW WITH MY YEAR 3'S ITS COULD ALMOST USE IT LIKE A LOOP GAME AS WELL THANK S ALOT  
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MissSmithElm's picture

I love this idea! I will

I love this idea! I will play this with my year 5 class and as a plenary they can all make new cards on a different Mathematical area! Love it!!
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lanny's picture

This looks fantastic offering

This looks fantastic offering a fun way to engage the children with shape, Thank you.
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jeneane0147's picture

Thanks! I love these!

Thanks! I love these!
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auntbessie's picture

Fantastic resource!

Fantastic resource! Wonderful for focus group work, extension activities, starters - there are so many different ways to use them and the idea can be applied to more than just shape. Plus, yet again, you have saved me hours of fiddling with powerpoint or word!
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rhoneyman's picture

Wow, this will give the

Wow, this will give the children a new approach to learning their vocab in maths. Great. We can even work in teams and make up our own vocab words for different maths topics!
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oldschoolteacher's picture

Great resource to build

Great resource to build vocabulary. Have read about this at other sites and teachers have been using this with blank cards and vocabulary words as prompts. Students then as teams create cards and then switch cards and play game. Very creative way of expanding building vocabulary. Thank you.
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chell121's picture

You could also use these with

You could also use these with a literacy link to questions. Have children play jeopardy and read and answer using the key vocabulary the children must then answer with a question. e.g. Q - it is known to be smooth. - it is known to have a level surface A - What is flat?
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yennx's picture

Brilliant, just what I was

Brilliant, just what I was looking for! Colelcted up some old red noses to uses as horns,going to get the children to make their own "challenge cards" after the game. :)
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micketh's picture

fab idea for using a game to

fab idea for using a game to aid learning
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uniwin's picture

Great way to get children

Great way to get children talking shape! Thankyou.
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I had seen a game similar to

I had seen a game similar to this at a Math Conference and had been looking for a copy. My students love playing games and half the time don't realize they're actually working. Thanks for uploading!!!
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