The Drawing Game (Which Can Easily Be Played as Charades)

Okay, so it’s not the most inventive name, but this is by far one of my class’s favorites. It works like Pictionary, but without teams or score-keeping. I type out strips of paper with characters, objects, events, or concepts, all spaced out enough that I can just print them and cut them into strips and put them in a labeled envelope. (Really, do yourself the favor of taking the four seconds it takes to label the envelope. You don’t want to end the year with a dozen identical-looking envelopes. You may want to take a few from each one at the end of the semester or year, or you may want to use them again or loan them out. Regardless, it’s always better to label than not!)

When it’s time to play, choose a student to get the game started. I usually have someone I promised to let go first because we ran out of time before they could go last time. But you could choose a student who does not speak in class much but likes to draw, or choose a student who has been a great example to everyone else. I’ll tell you, I’ve never found myself in need of a volunteer; almost everyone is ready to go!

The student just draws a slip of paper, and I read it with them and make sure they feel confident to draw it. If not, no biggie. We put it back in and pick another one. When they have one they like, they go to the white board and start drawing. I don’t make kids raise their hands for two reasons: 1) someone always feels like you never call on them when they know it; and 2) it takes some of the energy out of the game. That said, don’t let it get out of control and so loud you can’t hear anyone. I’m usually the one who hears the right answer, so I call it. Then that student gets to go next. And so on. See? No score-keeping and no team competition. Anyone can guess every single time.

Another version of the same game is what I call the Drawing Relay Game. In this case, I choose the first artist, and then tell the whole class what the drawing will be. The first artist draws until I say, “Stop!” Then I call the next artist up to continue the drawing, and so on. Sometimes, one artist can’t tell what one of the other was drawing, so they change it into something else!

Here’s an example. These are the strips in my “Daniel Book Two, Week One, Drawing Game” envelope.

  • Bear with 3 ribs in his mouth
  • Daniel dreaming
  • Belshazzar using holy goblets
  • Nebuchadnezzar in the wilderness
  • Lion with eagle wings
  • Daniel refusing the king’s food
  • Beast with iron teeth and 10 horns
  • Little horn
  • 4 winds stirring the sea
  • Statue
  • Hand writing on the wall
  • Daniel in the lions’ den
  • Fiery furnace
  • 4-headed leopard with 4 wings

IMG_3021

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As you can see, sometimes you wing it and add more slips of paper on the fly.

Tips:

  • If (like a good Precept teacher!) you have a collection of colored white board markers, leave them up there for the game.
  • Include general Inductive Bible Study concepts in addition to story elements. Remember, repetition, repetition, repetition, repet…
  • Similarly, throw in a few things from what you’ve already covered in your study, not just that week’s homework.
  • Let the kids come up close and sit on the floor if they want. It makes it more fun, and it helps with the noise level.
  • If you notice a student keeps getting frustrated because he “just said that!” when another winner is chosen, tune your ear to hear his voice. As soon as he gets a right answer, catch it.
  • If the student drawing gets stuck, or just keeps pointing at his drawing instead of adding anything to it, it’s okay to whisper some ideas in his ear. You can also do this when he’s picking a slip of paper. Especially for younger students, ask if they’ve got it or if they need some ideas.
  • If you want to put the used strips back in the envelope to keep everything together, just fold them in half so you can tell them apart from the “fresh” ones.
  • Keep it fun! They are reinforcing what they’ve learned, and they are having a great time learning God’s Word.

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