Author: British Council | Published on 1 August 2022


Read what a teacher says about this activity:

Back to the board is a fun activity for both primary and secondary learners. It’s a good activity for checking and reviewing vocabulary, and making the learners active.

Stage 1: 

Place a chair at the front of the classroom. The chair should face away from the board and face towards the learners. 

Stage 2: 

Choose a learner (or ask for a volunteer) to sit on the chair. They shouldn’t be able to see the board.

Stage 3: 

Say to the class: ‘I’m going to write a word on the board. Please don’t tell your friend what the word is. Keep it secret.’ This word should be connected to the lesson topic.

Stage 4: 

Say to the class: ‘Please only use English. You mustn’t draw or use any gestures. You have a maximum of two minutes.” 

Say to the class: ‘You must now describe the word to your friend. They have to guess what it is.’ 

Stage 5: 

When the learner at the front guesses correctly (or the time is up), they should go back to their own seat. Then repeat steps 2-5 with another learner, using a different word.

When your learners are familiar with this activity, you can divide the class into four or five teams, and put four or five chairs at the front. Groups of learners must stand in front of their friend, and describe the word. Watch out for cheating!


Lesson topic: the subject you're focusing on for the duration of the lesson.

See also