This is a warm-up exercise. Test your word power!
How many words start with "T" and finish with "R" ?
(You can find the answers here)
Perhaps a wide vocabulary is one part of intelligence? Intelligence takes many forms: understanding and applying rules, ability to generate patterns, lateral thinking, inter-personal, intra-personal etc. Granted: word skills are certainly not a test of emotional stability or spiritual values or ethical awareness.
Use this exercise in pairs — as a group exercise — for the best results. Ideally use this game as a warm-up exercise at the start of a class.
You can use a whiteboard, or just practise as an oral/aural activity.
It can be time-limited. Try 1, 3, 10 or 15 minutes, and compare results.
Actually, it's most effective as a collaborative social media game that might help to bring less frequently used words to the surface.
When I posted this verbal mind-game on Facebook it went viral, with lots of people participating. It was also a self-policing game that tended to be supportive and inclusive as it combined individuals of different ages, background, and ability.
There are over 300 correct answers if you are playing this game in English.
As a follow-up activity ask students to create a story using at least one of the words they found in each sentence. This works best with an element of absurdity, humour, or surrealism.
You can also use the words as a rhyme scheme for a poem.
Alternatively, employ the words that students have listed in an oral Q&A format to develop conversational skills.
For the warm up above there are over 700 English words. Answers here.