Vocabulary Headbands – Vocabulary Game

Have you ever played the game “Hedbanz”?  If not, you’re missing out!! Go check it out here: http://www.hedbanz.com/. Anywho.. I have implemented a similar game in my classroom that I use to review vocabulary. (Notice the word REVIEW).  I wouldn’t suggest using this to teach vocabulary because the students would have no idea what they are doing.

Steps to Play:


  • Vocabulary Cards (teacher made)
  • Headbands for students
  • Timer

1. First, place students into groups of 4 or more.
2. Next, provide students with vocabulary cards (make these ahead of time). They only need the vocabulary words you would like to use. No definitions. Place them face down.
3. A student picks a card and places it on their head. (They can’t see it, but their group can)
4. Another person in their group has 30 seconds to act out the word on their head. (NO speaking, NO props) To pick the ‘other person’ that does the acting, I either partner the students up from the beginning, or give each student a number and I use a die. 
5. The person with the vocabulary card on their head must guess the vocabulary word within the 30 seconds.  If they get it correct, both players get a point.
6. Object of the game – be the player (or partners) in your team with the most points.

You’re probably wondering….
How do the vocabulary cards stick to the kids’ heads?

Well, here is where the whole “headbanz” thing comes in.  You can either purchase the actual game, and use the ones that come in there.  Otherwise, you can get super creative and make your own.  I made some out of ribbon and paperclips!! (See below)

Why this works: 
The kids are super motivated during this activity! They want to WIN, and they want to learn these words, so they are able to act/guess them.  Furthermore, the entire group is involved and engaged!

I hope this helps give you some ideas for your vocabulary instruction. Feel free to contact me with any questions!

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Stephanie Nash

I have been helping teachers organize, develop routines, and create inviting & beautiful classrooms since 2012!

2 Responses

    1. I hope to incorporate more types of games like these in my classroom this year. I was able to get 11 chrome books through a donor’s choose project, so I am super excited!! Thanks for your comment. I hope you have a great school year. 🙂

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