Just-A-Minute Game by Elizabeth Claire

Just-A-Minute Game by Elizabeth Claire
The game that has everyone” talking!
Elizabeth Claire
*Students of English as a Second Language and Others
© Elizabeth Claire
302 Nedellec Drive
Saddle Brook, NJ 07662 USA
Just-A-Minute! is a fast-moving oral language game that can be played for fun or instruction
by children and adults. It develops verbal fluency, clear pronunciation, logical thinking, and
sharp listening skills.
Just-A-Minute! is especially appropriate for intermediate students of English
as a Second Language from second grade to adult.
Just-A-Minute! also stimulates speaking in mainstream classes, in speech therapy classes,
and in classes for students with learning disabilities. It can be used as a party game, a break
from normal routine, and as a rapid, informal fluency evaluating tool.
Equipment needed:
Just-A-Minute! cards; a clock or watch for time keeping; score sheets; pencil.
GAME ONE: For three to twelve players
Object of the Game:
Each player is given one minute (or some other limited time) to get other players to
guess words from the list of eight words on the Just-A-Minute! card. This is a cooperative
game as well as competitive, since all guessers cooperate to maximize each speaker’s score.
Preparation: |
Players sit in a circle or at a table. Each player is given one Just-A-Minute! card and
is instructed not to show it to the other players. One player is designated as the Time Keeper.
(This role may rotate among the players.) Enter all players” names on the Score Sheet.
Players are given time to examine their words before play begins. If there are
questions about the reading, meaning, or pronunciation of a word, players may consult a
dictionary or the teacher.
Players, except for Player One put their own cards face down until it is their turn.
Player One announces the category on his/her card. The Time Keeper tells the player when
to begin.
Player One should describe the word; tell its color, size, shape, use, or location; he/she
may tell what its opposite is, a rhyming word, or may use any other verbal hints she or he
can think of.
Player One may not say the word on the card itself, and may not point to objects in
the room or use his/her hands in any way. He/she also may not spell out the word or tell the
meaning of the word in another language.
The other players listen and call out their guesses. (They need not raise their hands,
since this is a game of speed.) As soon as someone says the correct word, Player One
says, 'right!”, and goes on to the next word on the card, and so on.
If a word is too difficult for a player to describe, he/she says, "Skip" and goes to
another word. He/she may return to any skipped words if there is any time left. If a player
points to an object, uses hands in any way, or accidentally says the word, no point is given
for that word if it is guessed.
Player One gets one point for each word that is correctly guessed.
When the Time Keeper calls time, Player One must stop speaking. Points are counted
and entered on the Score Sheet.
The person to the left of Player One takes the next turn.
A round is over when everyone has had one turn. Players get a new card each round,
and turn in their used cards to a discard pile.
The winner is the person who has the highest number of points at the end of the last
GAME TWO: four to twenty players
Divide the group into two teams. A player from the first team gets a card and
describes her/his words. Only teammates may guess, and the team gets points for the words
guessed. The other team remains silent. Play alternates between teams.
GAME THREE: two to forty-eight players
This game provides the greatest amount of language practice and individual
participation. Divide the group into pairs or groups of three. Demonstrate the game with the
entire class, then distribute a "draw pile” of cards to each group. All groups play at the same
time. When a group has exhausted its draw pile, they may switch cards with another group
and continue playing.
GAME FOUR: two to ninety-six players
This is the written version. Have players work with partners. Each player has one
Just-A-Minute! card and pencil and paper. Five to ten minutes or more are allowed. Have
l. ears 1. knee 1. mouth 1. kitchen
2. teeth 2. face 2. chin 2. closet
3. toes 3. arm 3. chest 3. window
4. hair 4, cheeks 4. hips 4. rug
5. hose 5. elbow 5. ankle 5. door
6. neck 6. stomach 6. lips 6. bedroom
7. eyes 7. shoulder 7. fingers 7. light
8. hand 8. tongue 8. forehead 8. mirror
1. horse l. pig 1. goat 1. building
2. dog 2. cat 2. rooster 2. street
3. kitten 3. duck 3. fox 3. stores
4. tiger 4. donkey 4. elephant 4. people
5. alligator 5. dinosaur 5. gorilla 5. bus
6. chicken 6. butterfly 6. сом 6. taxi
7. bird 7. turtle 7. fish 7. sidewalk
8. monkey 8. snake 8. grasshopper 8. traffic light
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