Same Difference Speaking Games

Same difference is an engaging conversation activity that will get your students talking while expanding their vocabulary. It is a fun way of clarifying words that students tend to confused.

First, students connect words with similar meanings. I have provided a game below for you to use, but feel free to supply your own words based on the level and needs of your students.

How to play same difference:

Form two teams. If you are playing on line, the team members will need a way to chat privately. A platform with breakout rooms is perfect for this activity.

I create the teams ahead of time and form WhatsApp groups for this purpose. WhatsApp supports video calls with up to eight people on both iphone and Android. I like this option because the teams can easily switch to messaging without disrupting the class if the Internet is being temperamental. Make sure you include yourself in both groups, so that you can monitor them and answer questions.

Team A chooses a pair of words with similar meanings. They have three minutes to prepare their answers.

What is the main similarity and the main difference between these words?

The team can choose to give a correct answer, or they can make something up.

Team B has one minute to decide if the answer is correct or not.

Team A gets one point if their answer was accurate. They get a second point if Team B didn’t guess correctly if their answer was true or false. Team B gets a point if they guessed true or false correctly.

Here is the example I use to explain the game:

Imagine that one of the pairs are the words sensitive and sensible, and my team decides to give a true answer. We tell the other team that the main similarity is that both words describe a person’s character. We say that the main difference is that sensitive means that the person is easily hurt, while sensible means that the person is practical.

We get a point because this is a correct answer. If the other team guesses that our answer is false, we get another point. If the other team guesses that the answer is correct, we get a point and they get a point.