Read it, Write it, Draw it, Pass it!

Critics of homeschooling will often mention that, because the student is learning at home, he’s missing out on socialization with his peers. Such a critic has never met my teenage son John. A ninth grader, he has invitations to get-togethers and parties almost every week, sometimes two in the same day!

For many of these parties, invites are sent out with a note stating to bring along a favorite group game. And each time, I suggest he shows his friends how to play Telephone Pictionary. We first played it with family during the Thanksgiving holidays, and it was a hit with both kids and adults.

*Note: This game is not suited for young children, as players need to be able to read and write sentences.

To Prepare:

Cut or tear plain white paper into small rectangles, approx. 2 inches wide by 3 inches long. Provide each player with a stack of these rectangles. Each player should have as many “rectangles” as there are people playing the game. For example, if seven people are playing the game, give each player seven rectangles of paper.

Provide a pen for each player.

To Play:

1. Each player will write a sentence on the top sheet of his stack of papers. The sentence can be long or short; it can be a quote or a proverb; it can be simple or complex.

When each player is finished, all players pass that sheet of paper to the person on their left.

2. All players read the sentence, then place the paper on the bottom of their stack. On the next rectangular sheet of paper, players draw what the sentence says. They draw it in pen, so there’s no erasing. They can use stick figures, but they can’t use letters or words. The goal is to “show” the sentence the best you can.

When each player is finished, all players pass the stack to the person on the left, leaving the drawing on top.

3. Now it’s time to interpret the drawing! Players will look at the drawing passed to them, decide what it depicts, and write a new sentence on the next rectangular piece of paper. This new sentence will say what the player thinks the drawing shows.

Players then place the picture on the bottom of the stack, leave the new sentence on the top, and pass the whole stack to the person on the left.

4. Time to draw again! After reading the sentence, players will tuck it on the bottom of the stack, then draw what they read. When everyone is finished, the stacks (with the pictures on top) are passed again to the left.

Play continues in this manner until the stacks have gone all the way around the whole table. Depending on whether you have an odd or an even number of people playing, the turn may end when you receive your original stack or the stack the person on your left started with.

Now it’s time to reveal the papers! Players take turns reading the sentences and showing drawings in a stack in the order in which they were created. Most likely, the first sentence and the last are not quite the same!

We have had a lot fun with this game — the pictures and sentences become so strange and so funny as they go around the table. John still hasn’t shared this one with his friends at the parties, but I hope he does soon. It’s makes for a great time for everyone!

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