Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Name It! A Game FREEBIE

Many years ago when getting my master's degree, I had to take a theater course.  Don't ask me why!  To this day I still don't get it.  It was a theater class focused on using theater and games in the classroom.  One of the games the professor showed us was Name It!  I have actually played this game for many years with my friends.  It is a fun favorite.

Let me tell you how it is played.  It begins with a set of cards that have various topics written on them.  Have all your friends stand in a circle.  Place one friend and the stack of cards face down (the cards, not your friend!) in the circle.  The friend in the middle picks one card and must name a certain number of whatever the topic is.  For example, they would read aloud, "Name four. . . colors of the rainbow."  Then, the class will pass around a ball.  The friend in the middle has to name the correct amount by the time the ball makes it completely around the circle.  Once the ball gets back to the person who started it, your friend is out of time.  At that point, allow the class to share answers they thought of.  And, that's part of the fun.  Everyone is thinking of possible answers whether they are in the middle or not.  To justify the game, you could always explain that you are busy building schema!

The number of items you want your friends to name can vary.  If you have younger kids or a smaller group of children, you would want to keep the number small.  Larger class and older children can usually name more.  I would keep it between 3 and 5, but try it out and see what works for you.

I rarely play the game for points or winners.  Usually, I just try to get everyone a turn in the middle. You can play for points by breaking the class up into two teams (boys vs. girls, right side of circle vs. left side of circle, etc.) and if they are able to name it all, that person gets a point for their team.

As I mentioned, I've been playing this game for years.  It was hard to come up with categories, so over the years I've allowed my friends to write some they thought of on index cards.  I ended up with a pile of messy index cards that looked like this.

The cards were getting bent and wrinkled, so I thought it was time to clean this up and create a more aesthetically pleasing and durable version.  I took most of the topics my friends thought of and typed them up in a name tag template with a fancy border.  Now, I have this!

I printed the cards on card stock and laminated the pages.  Then, I cut them out and put them all in a file card holder I got at the dollar store.  Below, you can see how it stores nicely and the mini-basketball we use in my class for passing around the circle.

Since I have it all saved, I decided to share it with you.  If you CLICK HERE! you can download the game for yourself.  All together, there are 80 different cards with some blanks for categories you might want to add.  With 80 cards, you can pick and choose the ones you would want to use with your friends depending on age level and number of children playing. I also included a direction sheet with the printable, and I just hope it makes sense when you read it! :-)

One thing you should know.  The cards aren't exactly the same size.  Two of the cards on each page are a little bit bigger than others.  I'm not sure why that is because I used a standard label template, so they should have all been the same size.   It looks huge in the picture at right because it's an extreme close-up, but it's really just a smidgen bigger than the others. The good news is that it is really just aesthetic annoyance and doesn't effect the game.  And, hey! It's FREE!

If you are looking for a more academic related game, I posted another one a while ago called Heart Breakers.  It is a fun review game for any academic subject.  I don't have a printable available for it, but if you read the post you will see it takes minimal time and effort to make the cards you would need.  Heart Breakers is always a popular way to review before a test.    If you decide to play Name It! or Heart Breakers with you friends, stop back and let me know how it goes!

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Well, school starts in September for my friends and yesterday I finally found out what I will be doing next year.  It is going to be challenging and I anticipate a busy year. I'm not allowed to talk about it yet, but I will soon!  The best news I received was that I don't have to share my classroom with anyone this year.  This allows me to set it up exactly how I want.  Last year, I had to take into account the three other teachers I shared the room with, so it was never really what I wanted it to be.  This year, I have free reign once again! I took some before pictures yesterday so that I can share a before and after of my room with you once I finish. Excited to know my room is going to really be "my" room this year.  Not so excited to have to do all the work involved in making that happen!  I know many of you have started back to school, but I'm still in summer mode!  And on that note, I'm off to go play outside! Have a good day! 

And, yes!  I did notice the excessive use of the exclamation point!  What can I say?  It's my favorite punctuation mark!


  1. This sounds like a great game! Thanks for sharing!

    Simply Sixth Grade

  2. What a great game for the first week of school! I think I'm going to have my students play it tomorrow! Thanks!!

  3. This is a great addition to my bank of classroom games. Thanks

  4. Love it but can't get it to open. Any suggestions?

    1. Oh, DeeDee I'm sorry! I just tried the link. It seems to be working. I haven't had any other comments or emails about it not opening, so I'm not sure what the issue is. If anyone out there has an idea of what the problem is please comment. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. :-(

  5. I can't seem to get it to open either which is too bad because I love the idea.

  6. Ditto. I went to download and it wouldn't work. Any special programs needed. It looks like a great game for my 2nd graders.

  7. Sorry, guys. I wish I could trouble shoot it more for you. The printable is a PDF uploaded on to Google docs. I've checked it again and had others check it. It seems to be working from my end. :-(