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Elementary School: Repetition Activities

If you’re looking for some socially-distanced alternatives to Keyword Game, here are some great activities that can be used at Elementary and possibly Junior High School level. All you need are some ○ and some ×!

Hop-up Game

Hop-up Game works in the same way as Keyword Game, except that students stand up when they hear the keyword. This is particularly good for 1st and 2nd grade. A ○ is placed on top of the keyword –either by a teacher or a student– and students repeat the words back to you. Rather than ending the game on the keyword, Hop-up Game is usually played continuously, so the students jump up and down multiple times. One or more ○ can be used. Your class (and yourself) will be physically exhausted by the end.

Taboo Game

In Taboo Game, either the teacher or a student chooses one or more “taboos,” indicated by a × card placed on top of a flashcard. The rules are simple: do not say the “tabooed” word(s). This activity is well received at all levels, and reduces the monotony of simply ‘listen and repeat.’

Taboo-Up Game

As a combination of the two, various ○ and × are placed on top of flashcards. Stand-up on the ○ and do not repeat the ×. As it is a bit more complicated, this game is not recommended for 1st grade who are still early in their English language learning. It is recommended to combine the two games only after your students have gotten used to them separately.


There are no ○ or × needed for this game, just a long stick. Point at various flashcards and say what it is, and have your students repeat. After some time, point at a flashcard and purposefully say the wrong word, and see if your students say the correct answer instead. If your students are “tricked” into repeating the wrong word, they’re OUT! Personally, after playing Trick-Repeat a handful of times, I like to point at each card and say my own name over and over again. The students are then “tricked” into repeating all the vocabulary and having fun at the same time.

Do you have any repetition activities to share? Let us know in the comments below, or send an email to [email protected]

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