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Head's Up Game Cards

Using the Head’s Up Game in Class to Increase Student Engagement

Submitted by Amy Cliff

Head's Up Game Cards

I had a problem. My lecture on the Endocrine (hormones) system was boring. Much of the content the students had to “memorize” and historically this has been my least favourite lecture of the year, and I’m pretty sure the least favourite of the students as well.

I met with Jessica O’Reilly and Mel Young and felt that I now had some different tools to make this lesson more interesting and engaging for the students.

In the first lecture of the week I had the students create a study sheet by filling in a chart that I had made leaving important information missing. I instructed the students to use the sheet and become familiar with the names, functions, and glands of each hormone. The next class was so much fun! We played the game called Head’s Up.

This is a great party game and I took the concept and used it to help my students learn the hormones and their functions. If you haven’t seen or played the game, watch this video.


  • Students should be split into small groups. Each group gets a deck of cards.
  • The first student to take their turn in the group takes a card from the pile and does not look at the name on the card. They put the card to their forehead so they cannot cheat.
  • The rest of the group starts giving the student clues and they have to guess what is on the card. The students giving the clues can’t use the word to describe it.
  • Every card the student guesses correctly is a point.
  • Set a timer for 3 minutes and then rotate to the next student.
  • Multiple variations of this game can be played, so make it your own and fit your classroom.

Have fun!

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