How to Implement the Kick Me Teaching Strategy in Your Classroom

In place of a “kick me” sign on their backs, learners have a vocabulary word (on a Post-it note, sticker, or taped scrap paper). Learners roam the room to find the terms that best suited words, such as analogies, descriptions, synonyms/antonyms, etc. The #1 rule of Kick Me is no kicking.

Learning Outcome

  • Review word meanings


  1. Print vocabulary words on stickers, pieces of paper, or sticky notes so that you can place one word on each learner’s back. If you have more learners than words, simply make multiple cards with the same word.
  2. Place words on learners’ backs. Tell them not to disclose the term placed on another classmate.
  3. Instruct learners to pair up with a partner and begin asking qualifying questions to figure out the word that is on their own back. Questions such as, “Am I a person?” “Am I a shape?” The only time a learner may ask, “Is my word                 ?” is their final question.
  4. Once each learner has correctly guessed the term on their own back, they may return to their seats.


Another variation would be to have learners identify the partner that would best be associated with the word they have been given. For instance, they could be asked to find the synonym/antonym to their word or to group according to a central theme, e.g., Union vs. Confederacy. Other modifications include having learners search for missing words to an equation/analogy with all of the correct answers being placed on learners’ backs.


  • There is no kicking.
  • Every learner must participate.
  • When the timer stops, everyone must stop working.
  • Phones or computer devices are not allowed.
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