Keyword Game

Students practice vocabulary by competing to grab the eraser.
Target levelES 1 - 6
Preparation timeNone
Activity time10 minutes
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Keyword Game is an activity suitable for 1st-6th grade elementary students. It's used to help reinforce learning after teaching new vocabulary. It can be found throughout the Eigo Notebook textbook series.


  • Create picture cards of new vocabulary words and put them on the blackboard.
  • Choose one vocabulary picture card and set it to the side. This will be the 'keyword'.
  • Have the students pair up and face each other. Then have them place an eraser (or some other small object) between them.


  1. Tell the students that you will say one word out loud and then have them repeat that word, followed by everyone clapping twice.
  2. Tell them that you've chosen one keyword and if they hear that keyword then they should immediately grab the eraser without even saying anything.
  3. After each round, tell the winning students to raise their hand. This will usually get them excited.
  4. At the end, after however many rounds you decide to do, ask the students how many times they won a match. The students that win the most matches are the overall winners.


  1. As the game progresses, instead of the ALT deciding the keyword, ask a student to volunteer and choose a keyword. Then coach that student to say "Keyword is _____!" in front of everyone and then return to their seat to start the game.
  2. Increase the difficulty by running two keywords simultaneously.

See also