Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Language Lesson for Elementary and Middle School Students

In continuance of speech, language, and hearing month, this week's blog is about a great language game that you can use with your elementary and middle school students: Headbanz. Yes, I spelled that correctly! It's a game geared for 8-12 year olds, according to the manufacturers; however, it can be easily adapted for most any age and developmental ability. Headbanz is a guessing game that you can use to target categories, attributes, asking and answering questions, and deductive reasoning. It includes a deck of cards, plastic headbands, and a timer. The object is to guess the name of the picture posted in your headband before time runs out. While it comes with a list of sample questions, I found that my students relied heavily on using this card, but merely asked each question without giving much thought to the answers. I adapted the question cue card to a full sheet of questions arranged in categories. When we use this sheet, I instruct the student that is guessing to ask the bold faced, category questions until he or she receives a "Yes" answer, and then proceed to ask the remaining questions from that category. For example, if a student asks, "Is it a food?" and the other students answer, "Yes," then the guesser can go down the list of questions in that category that ask things like, "Is it a vegetable?" You can further adapt the game by just using items from one group, like food, to encourage students to create some of their own questions about food. Overall, I think this game complements many language targets and it will come in especially handy as we approach the end of our school year here in Illinois!

If you would like to use my modified cues, you can print a copy here!


  1. Nice Blog Site! Thank you for sharing such good information - you've done several posts that I've shared with others. All the best!

    1. Thanks for the kind words and support Rickie! I hope to post 2-4 blogs a month!

  2. I'm def going to look into acquiring this game. Would be great to use with my middle school students, thanks for sharing!

  3. I have this game, and have used it in therapy before. I am also having problems with my students relying on the cue card. Do you happen to have a copy of your revised cue card that you could post? Thanks!

  4. Deena, I just added a link to get a copy of my clues. Let me know if it works alright! Thanks, Nanette

  5. I use this game too! I like to target understanding categories and the concepts of general and specific so I don't let my students look at any cue cards. They need to start with questions of a general category and then when they get a 'yes' can ask more specific questions until they identify their object. Although, for the students having difficulty acquiring this concept a modified cue card is a great idea to begin with!!