The original card game of Cards Against Humanity caters to people with a somewhat twisted sense of humor. However, in this adapted version, you can use the same concept with a more family-oriented approach that is suitable for all ages.
The goal of the game is to create funny sentences by filling in blanks with random nouns and noun phrases.
Cards Against Humanity ESL Game Preparation:
Before class, look in a language textbook (or novel) that all of your students are reading. Take a few of the sentences from the book and prepare to use those sentences for your example.
Taboo ESL Game Guidelines:
Write your example sentences on the board. Let’s use these three sentences to demonstrate how to prepare for the game:
Sam couldn’t finish the homework because of noisy neighbors.
A romantic dinner would be incomplete without candles.
The action movie featured a young actress from New York.
In each sentence, underline all of the articles, adjectives, and nouns. Replace them with a blank and re-write the words on the side separately. The result should look like this:
_____ couldn’t finish _____ because of _____ .
_____ would be incomplete without _____ .
_____ featured _____ from _____ .
- the homework
- noisy neighbors
- a romantic dinner
- the action movie
- a young actress
- New York
Next, ask the students to create alternative sentences by filling in the blanks with the words from the list. If possible, encourage them to use each word only once.
As a result, they may come up with a rearrangement that looks like this:
A young actress couldn’t finish the action movie because of the homework.
New York would be incomplete without noisy neighbors.
A romantic dinner featured candles from Sam.
Now that the students understand the aim of the game, divide the class into groups.
Tell them to look in their textbooks to find some sentences to write down on paper. They should underline all of the articles, adjectives, and nouns in the sentences. Then, rewrite the sentences with blank spaces and write the missing words on a separate piece of paper.
For the next stage, they should exchange their sentences (with the blanks) with another group of students. Finally, everyone keeps their original word lists and tries to fill in the blanks in the new sentences.
If time permits, the students can play another round of the game using the word lists from other groups. Also, remember to share some of the funniest sentences that everyone came up with before the end of class.
Follow-Up ESL Activities:
Check out the Sentence Building activity for some ideas on how to improve sentence structure.
You could also finish up with a quick game of ESL Hangman!
More ESL Board Games for Kids and Adults:
- King’s Cup
- Box of Lies
- Mad Libs
- Guess Who
- The Price is Right
- Apples to Apples
- Wheel of Fortune