Social Studies Game: Who Am I?

Updated on May 24, 2018
Natashalh profile image

I am a teacher who is certified to teach secondary social studies.


When you're teaching anything, engaging your students is key. A fantastic way to get students actively participating is by using educational games, which can provide a break from the regular classroom routine, reinforce prior knowledge, and foster a better classroom environment.

Do you use educational games in your classroom?

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Who Am I?

The "Who Am I?" game can be played with students of all ages from late elementary school through high school. I think of it as a social studies game because I am certified to teach secondary social studies, but it can be adapted to other humanities subjects. The game is designed to review class material, get the class working as a group, and engage creative thinking skills.

Materials Needed

  • Chalkboard, whiteboard, or SMART board
  • A chair, stool, or desk at the front of the room


In preparation for the game, draw up a list of important figures studied recently in class. These important figures could be historical people, characters in a work of literature, or even artists.

At the beginning of class, or when you're ready to begin playing the game, position a desk or chair at the front of the room so that the student occupying this seat will be facing the class with a whiteboard, chalkboard, or SMART board behind him/her. If your classroom does not have a board at the head of the room, you can simply write the names in marker on a sheet of paper and tape it to the wall behind the student who is currently "it."


Choose a volunteer to be "it." This student will occupy the seat at the head of the class. After s/he is seated, write a name from your prepared list on the board behind his/her head. The student may not turn around to look at the name, but s/he may ask up to 20 yes or no questions of the class to determine whose name is written on the board or, in other words, who s/he "is."

Once the student has either correctly guessed the name on the board or has run out of questions, a new student becomes "it" and a new round of the game begins with a different name.



It: Am I a man?

Class: Yes!

It: Did I sign the Declaration of Independence?

Class: Yes!

It: Is my name John?

Class: Yes!

It: Am I John Hancock?

Class: No!

It: Am I John Adams?

Class: Yes!


Whether or not you offer incentives is, obviously, up to you. I personally do not like offering extra credit in classes with a required end of course test but am a little more lenient with elective courses. Other prizes, like candy, pencils, stickers, or whatever is grade level appropriate can work well, too. I've found that a lot of times students don't really need an added incentive because they simply want to do well in front of their classmates. It depends entirely on your course and students!

Educational Games and Active Learning

Active learning—getting students involved—is a major trend in education because it works. When students actively participate, instead of sitting there passively taking in information (hopefully!) all day every day, they retain more and feel like they have an stake in their education. Even if you only use educational games once in a while, bringing them into your lesson plans can help your students stay focused and involved with their learning. I like the "Who Am I?" game a lot because it can be adapted to different grade levels and subjects, and it's easy to have on tap as an extra activity if you finish your planned lesson ahead of time. No matter when you use it, I hope your students enjoy playing this educational game!

Questions & Answers


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      • brianrock profile image

        Brian Rock 6 months ago from New Jersey

        This is a fun game. You can also do something similar by putting the names on post-it notes and sticking them to students' backs. Then they can walk around the room and pair up at random to play the game with a partner. It's a good way to make it a little more kinesthetic.

      • profile image

        Kathy 2 years ago

        Thanks, great game. I can't wait to play with my seventh and eighth graders.

      • Natashalh profile image

        Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

        Sounds like a fun game! Thanks for the vote and follow.

      • BernietheMovieGuy profile image

        Bernie Ment 4 years ago from Syracuse, NY

        We used to do something similar when I was in school. It was more along the lines of the game To Tell the Truth, though. Nice idea! Voted up and following you!

      • Natashalh profile image

        Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

        Thanks so much for the votes! I think it's a pretty entertaining game.

      • Suzanne Day profile image

        Suzanne Day 4 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

        Really like this game - it's like charades but easier for children especially to understand the hints! Voted useful and up.

      • Natashalh profile image

        Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

        Thank you! It's really amazing to me how well students respond to doing something out of the ordinary/that they perceive as 'fun.' I think it really does help them remember better!

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

        Very creative way to engage students in learning important facts. I love using methods that are fun and help children to retain information longer. Excellent tips and well done!

      • Natashalh profile image

        Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

        Thank you!!

        I'm hoping to get lots of my lesson plans and things on the web either here or on my blog, but we'll see how long that takes!

      • cclitgirl profile image

        Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

        I hear ya. I've been so busy with teaching and grad school, I can barely manage to crank out a hub here and there related to my tutoring - to have something for people to refer to as I teach them. :P And congrats, CONGRATS on your engagement!!

      • Natashalh profile image

        Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

        Yeah, well, I was too busy to get on HP for a while what with student teaching and moving and all. We're now both in Hawaii and officially engaged. =) Happy tines, indeed.

      • cclitgirl profile image

        Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

        I didn't know you MOVED! That's awesome, Natasha. I thought you were still in SC. Congrats, though! I know your guy is there. So *happy* for you! xo

      • Natashalh profile image

        Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

        I just finished my MAT and got my license in the mail! Very excited about it, but I'm not currently teaching in the classroom. My license is for SC and I just moved to Hawaii, so I need to get my ducks in a row in order to be able to teach her in the fall.

      • cclitgirl profile image

        Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

        Do you teach social studies, too? You are so versatile! Me? I'm trying to get this dang master's finished, so I haven't been around as much. There are great ideas in this hub. Hope you're doing well! :)

      • Natashalh profile image

        Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

        Thank you! I found that even 'big kids' like playing games and will be enthusiastic, even if it's only because the game is a break from the routine. They always get excited about something different!

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

        I used a variation of this game in my history classrooms and the kids really enjoyed it and remembered it years later. Well done Natasha.

      • Natashalh profile image

        Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

        Very true! You could use just a piece of paper or the good, old-fashioned sticky note on the forehead. =p

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

        Cute idea! I like this because you can even adapt this to use at home in studying.


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