Salad Bowl: A fun vocabulary game for FL classes

Salad Bowl game

In our advisory, we had students bring games to play today.  One of my amazing students brought the game Salad Bowl!  It would be PERFECT to shake up your traditional game of charades.

  • First you have everyone in the class write down one or two vocabulary words on a piece of paper.  You can collect them in a salad bowl (or any type of container).
  • You should have students split into teams.  I would try to only make about 4-5 teams to keep students participating more often.
  • During the first round, one person on each team has to describe as many words as they can in the target language without saying the key word in thirty seconds (the online version said 1 minute, but I think 30 seconds is perfect.)  The idea is 10,000 pyramid.  Their group is trying to guess all of the words as the one student is describing it. Each group gets one point per word guessed.  You continue to move through groups until all words are guessed.  This also gives incentive for students to pay attention to all of the words!
  • The next round, you put all of the words back into the salad bowl.  One person from each group acts out a charade to describe the word.  They keep acting out the words for 30 seconds.  Each word adds another point onto the team’s score.  You continue to act out all of the words until you finish with the bowl.
  • On the last round, you have a member from each group say only ONE word to describe the word.  They continue this for 30 seconds, and they still get one point per word.  You continue to do this until all of the words have been guessed.  The group with the most points at the end is the winner!

I thought this game would be perfect when you are returning from a break or a good review game before an exam.  I like that the students will hear the words multiple times as well.

Edited to add: Trevor commented on how he plays the game.  He has a fourth round where students just make noises to represent the words.  However, he cautions that students in the group must turn around because sometimes students make actions with their noises!  I love this addition!


6 thoughts on “Salad Bowl: A fun vocabulary game for FL classes

  1. I have always played this game with friends using 2 teams with a final round (before ever attempting to use it in Spanish class). In the FOURTH round, players make noises/sound effects (no words!) to “act out” the words. Although this is the most difficult round, the same words have been done 3 times already. Most teams eventually start guessing words they remember from previous rounds.

    Caution: Always have the team guessing close their eyes/look in the opposite direction, because someone making tennis noises, for example, will ALWAYS simultaneously do actions.

    This is hilarious to observe as a member of another team, if allowed to silently watch when other teams give the clues.

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