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Crocodile / Charades

The modern version of charades dates back to early 19th century France. Prior to this charades was the name given to a type of riddle where individual syllables were described. Charades has become a popular party game around the world, though it may go by different names, such as crocodile in Russia.


1: Ask one student to come to the front of the class. Give the student an action or word to act out.

2: The other students guess what the student is trying to show.

3: Once students guess the correct answer, nominate a new student to come to the front.

(S1 is acting)
T: What is she doing?
S2: Cooking? She is cooking pancakes?


1: Use this game to practise continuous tenses by insisting students give the full sentence in their answers e.g. she is cooking pancakes. To practise past continuous, have students say “stop” when they are ready to guess the action. Then students can give the answer with “when I told you to stop, you were…”

2: Turn this into a team game by dividing the class and inviting a person from each team to do the acting. It is a good idea to tell students to put their hands up so that you can see which team finishes first.

3: Instead of asking students in turn to act, or letting the student who guessed correctly act, you could ask the previous student to nominate somebody. In my experience, this tends to work out quite fairly, but is probably best done in groups with a strong rapport.

Example Language:

…opening a jar
…making a cup of coffee
…watching a comedy on television
…writing an email
…trying to catch a mosquito
…reading a very sad story
…playing chess
…waiting for a train
…eating a sandwich
…making a cup of tea
…making a sandwich
…talking to yourself
…crossing a road
…listening to a pop song
…studying something difficult
…making a salad
…sending a text message
…picking apples
…climbing a mountain
…playing drums
…cleaning a window
…eating an ice cream
…playing golf
…playing the violin

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