Whose Adjective is it Anyway?

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The objectives are to build group member relationships through verbal and nonverbal cue-sensing and effective adaptation to others' displayed emotions through entertaining and nonthreatening skits. Icebreakers/Warmups | Communication

Group Size

The ideal group size is 6-10.


You will need a timekeeping device. You will also need 20 blank notecards. On these notecards, the group leader will write 20 different adjectives that members will act out. Our suggested list of adjectives is as follows:





















But of course you can adapt your adjectives to your group! Come up with any that might be fun.

Set Up

In an open space, set the chairs up in a semicircle formation, and allow enough space for two members to act at the front of the room. Have the adjective cards near the front of the room.


First, complete the set of notecards.

Split your group members up into groups of two.

Each group of two takes turns going to the front of the room. When it is their turn, each member picks a card.

Each group has two minutes to act out the adjective on the card, and each member must act out their individual adjectives to each other in the form of a short skit.

The situation that they are acting out is: two friends meeting for lunch.

At the end of the skit, each member of the group of two must guess what his or her partner's adjective was.

After the actors guess each others' adjectives, the audience and the actors can discuss how the actors portrayed their emotions, how they might be misinterpreted, and how to more effectively display that feeling. This is like a short reflection period.


This exercise is to help members to pick up on verbal and nonverbal cues, as well as to adapt to others' feelings in a group situation. The reflection is to help each group member improve his or her expression of emotion in a complex situation. This is to help group member identify effective cues, and to better understand how they display their own cues.

This idea comes from the show "Whose Line is it Anyway?" and the idea of guessing how another person is trying to behave. The following skit might help serve as inspiration to the group members. Video


The way that the audience interacts with the performers is adaptable (for instance, they might also want to score the performers, to create a more competitive game). This activity will still be effective with a slightly larger group. The adjectives are interchangeable. The situation may also be changed by the group leader to a situation that may fit the specific group more effectively (for instance, a business team might want to put their performers in a business situation).

Can you help make this activity better? Do you know an alternate way to lead this activity? Click "edit" above and help improve this site for everyone!