As explained in my previous post, many games like Pictionary use prompts that don’t suit the context of rural Indian children, To solve this problem, I created our own version of Pictionary and a custom memory card game for the girls at school. Both these games employ a common vocabulary set of 100 words. These words range from very basic English nouns and verbs that are universally relevant to more specific words that describe common aspects of our students’ lives in Indian villages.


Below, I reproduce the rules and vocabulary set, should you wish to recreate these games that our girls relate to and love playing. All you need is some paper and pens; it’s a very inexpensive and enjoyable way to improve the vocabulary of rural Indian children. Making the game with your students is also a fun and educational craft activity.


The Vocabulary Set


Places Professions Objects Times & Events Nature
Bank Doctor Ball Breakfast Beach
Bus Stop Factory Worker Bicycle Dinner Bullock Cart
City   Farmer Car Evening Cow
Hospital   Judge Clock Harvest Dog
Park Nurse Computer Lunch Elephant
Playground Pilot Flower Morning Fish
Post Office Plumber Fruit Night Forest
School Police Officer Mirror Monsoon Goat
Supermarket Scientist Phone Summer Hen
Train Station Tailor Vegetable Exams Pig


Village Life Activities Family Home School life
Cowherd Art Aunt Bed Book
Crop Cooking Brother Chair Backpack
Farm Dance Daughter Flat Classroom
Firewood Music Father Firewood Exam
Paddy Field Reading Grandfather House Library
Pump Sleeping Grandmother Hut Playground
Rice Speaking Husband Kitchen Pencil
Rain Sports Mother Roof Pen
Tractor Studying Sister Sofa Student
Well Writing Wife Table Teacher


Pictionary Rules: Cut a sheet of thick chart paper into several small cards. Write one word on each card, leaving one side blank. Place the cards blank side up.


Form two teams. Have each child pick up a card and try to draw what it is. Let her other teammates guess the word. Time the child with either a stopwatch or a sand timer. The team with the most correct guesses wins.


Memory Game Rules: Cut a sheet of thick chart paper into several small cards. Only choose 10-15 words from the vocabulary set and create 20-30 cards i.e. double the number of words you have chosen.


Write one word each on half of the cards, leaving one side blank. On the remaining half of the cards, draw a picture that illustrates each word, leaving one side blank.


Arrange the cards in rows, blank side up. Choose 2 players. Allow each child to pick up two cards per turn. If the word and image match, the child gets to keep the cards. The child with the most matched pairs when the card runs out wins