#462: The Taboo


young game match kids

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No, this post won’t be about the same subject I’ve been hammering home for the past few posts. I don’t yet know if I’m ready to move on, but I’d like to discuss something different for once, with hopes that it’ll rejuvenate some of my original writing spirit. Hopefully that’s what happens from this, and I won’t be writing about the same things over and over again.

A taboo thing is something that’s outlawed, something that you are unable to say or do. There are taboo words, taboo phrases, taboo actions. We learned about taboos, I remember, in sociology class in high school, where my teacher discussed how societies create norms. Certain habits are normalized over time, whereas others are relegated to taboo status. Those habits are supposed to be discarded or done away with, if possible.

In the world of teaching that I currently live in, I get to play Taboo with a bunch of my students, which has proven to be a blast. It’s one of my favorite activities to do with them because I know they’ll enjoy it and want to play, even though they’re getting up there in age and maybe aren’t as interested in kid games. Is Taboo a kid game these days? I don’t even know if it necessarily qualifies, but it might work just based on the box art.

Essentially, how it works is there are words you are supposed to not say, hint words, and a code word you need to have the other people in your group guess. You can’t use the hint words in your description of the word. It forces kids to think on their toes, to think deeply and really flesh out their understandings of the words that they have. Let’s hope they continue to like it going into the future.

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