Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary
Description: This fun game has players putting their faces through the space of a mystery card, then asking other players yes or no questions such as “Do I have fur?” or “Do I wear a costume?” to figure out what they are. Many of my students are motivated by the mystery cards and love to put their faces through. The instructions for the book come with directions for four different games.
Skills & Modifications: There are two major modifcations I frequently make to the game. First, I remove the game chips, die, and tally pad. This makes the game a simple guessing game that can be played with greater speed. The second modification I make is to have it be a turn-taking game played with just two players. This format allow me to teach my students how to play the game before introducing other players.
Feature/Function/Class/Category – I love using Guess What I Am to help students practice asking and answering questions about feature, function, and class/category. It allows them to see a visual in order to respond to questions accurately and provides motivation for generating questions.
Animal Sounds – Twelve of the face cards show animals. This helps players recognize and generate animal sounds to guess or give clues. It’s also a fun way to generalize and maintain the skill.
Expressive Language – This game requires many types of expressive language skills: manding for information, responding to questions, providing additional clues using adjectives or known facts, etc. I’ve found it best to select specific mystery cards prior to play so I can focus on one expressive language skill area at a time.
Intraverbal Skills – Many of my students struggle with responding to my questions without revealing which mystery character I am. For these students, I place sentence starters as textual prompts, then fade them out. For example, I might place two cards, one that says “Yes, you do _____” and another that says, “No, try again.” After I ask my question (such as “Do I live in the ocean?”) I use a gestural prompt to direct my student’s gaze to the cards. Over time I fade all prompts so the student is accurately responding to questions. Once they’ve mastered that skill, I then introduce the game with siblings and/or peers.
Cons: No cons, except I wish there were more face cards. There are 24, so there’s plenty, but the game is so fun and educational that I’d get more use out of it with more options available!
Extending the Lesson – If your learner is highly motivated by the game, it’s a great way to transition to “Guess What I Am” with picture cards. You can use any pictures, such as cartoon characters, pictures from a magazine, or pictures of common items that you search for online. With a couple of students, I’ve even used stickers! Use the same format as you would with the game, but adding the pictures varies the types of information and questions that learners must generate.
Cost: $19.99 You should invest in this game if: you teach young children, you are seeking materials for practicing expressive language skills in fun ways, or you have siblings that have varying skill levels but are both in preschool and/or early elementary.
ABLLS: A19, C37, C38, C39, F27, G15, G16, G17, H15, H16, H17, H18, H36, H40
VB-MAPP: LRFFC 9, Intraverbal 12