Smiley Face

I’m always impressed with how much fun we have without definitive win/loss results in the games we play at our writing camps.

The kids just love to participate and take turns!

Embellish a Face

This game, Smiley Face is a great example.  It’s played exactly like “Hangman” except we don’t hang our drawing.  We simply embellish a smiley face with details until the word is finally guessed.


Kids LOVE it and eagerly strive to get the next turn.
They also ask for this game all the time. Since it’s so so so so so common here in the USA, I usually leave it for the very end. If we have a few minutes to spare, this is one game we can play to finish out the time.

Here’s how to play!

1. Choose a student to go to the whiteboard or chalkboard.

2. The student thinks of a word that fits a specific category that we’re focusing on.

3. The student writes blanks for each letter of the word.  No one knows the word except the student at the whiteboard.

4. The student at the whiteboard points to one student in the group at a time to give a letter.

5. If the letter is in the chosen word, the student writes the letter in the blanks. The student who guessed the letter has 30 seconds to also guess the word. If he/she can’t guess the word, the next student is called on to give a letter.

6. If the letter is not in the chosen word, the student at the whiteboard writes the letter off to the side. He/she then draws the head of a person.

Go Around the Room

7. The student goes around the room, choosing one person at a time. There’s no need to raise hands. Going around the room or down row by row allows each student to participate.

Embellish the Face

8. The student at the whiteboard continues to add letters to the word or details (eyes, nose, mouth, ears etc.) to the head and body drawing until the word is guessed correctly.


9. Whichever student is able to guess the full word gets to take the next turn at the whiteboard.

10. Play until the allotted time has run out!

Print the Instructions

Here are the instructions for you to print out and use.

Writing Prompts

We played this game after the following writing prompts:

Farm Animals Idiom Story using a list of idioms.

2019 Meet These African Americans-Letter Writing-using career names