Five Answers

This game uses flash cards with open-ended questions that elicit several alternative responses. The back of the card contains a random list of five acceptable answers.

Here are some examples of different training topics, each with a sample question:

  • Feedback: How can we effectively use the feedback given to us?
  • Facilitation: What are the characteristics of effective facilitators?
  • Listening Skills: What is an important ground rule for active listening?
  • Presentation skills: What are different purposes of making a presentation?


Ask each player to write multiple answers to the question on the flash card. Compare each answer with the list of five answers on the back of the card. Score one point for each matching answer.


To generate a large number of acceptable answers to an open-ended question.


Minimum: 3

Maximum: Any number

Best: 5 to 7


  • Multiple-Answer Flash Cards. A packet of 10 to 50 cards with open questions that can be answered in alternative ways. (See the Preparation section below.)
  • Pieces of paper
  • Pens or pencils


15 to 25 minutes


Prepare flash cards. Write a question that will elicit several alternative answers on one side of a card. Writ any five suitable answers on the other side.

Example: Here is the list of five answers to this question: What are the effects of lack of trust in an organization?

  1. Lack of trust encourages people to be cautious in their communication.
  2. Lack of trust increases employee turnover.
  3. Lack of trust results in micromanagement.
  4. Lack of trust increases stress level in the workplace.
  5. Lack of trust encourages employees to withhold information.


Organize participants into play groups. If you have more than seven players, divide the group into smaller groups of four to seven players each. Explain that each group will play the game among its own members.

Distribute the supplies. Place the packet of flash cards in the middle of the table with the question side facing up. Make sure that the players have plenty of paper and pens.

Explain the play procedure. Give this information in your own words:

During each round, the players will read the question on the flash card. Each player will independently write as many alternative answers as possible. However, not all answers will earn score points because there is an element of chance: The back of the flash card displays five answers supplied by the game designer. The players score a point for each of the responses that matches the answers on the back.

Read a question. Ask a player to read the question from the flash card on the top of the packet.

Write alternative answers. Ask a player with a smart phone to set up the timer for 60 seconds and start it. Ask the players to independently write as many alternative answers as possible within this time limit.

Score the answers. At the end of 60 seconds, ask the players to stop writing and give their pieces of paper (with the answers) to the player on his or her left. Invite one of the players to turn the flash card over and read the five answers displayed on the back. Ask each player to give one point to each of the answers that matches an answer on the back of the card. At the end of the comparing the five answers, ask each player to write the total score (between 0 and 5) and return the answer paper to its owner.

Continue the game. Ask a player to read the question from the next flash card. Repeat the play procedure as before. Continue playing additional rounds of the game until you run out flash cards or time.

Determine the winner. Identify the person with the highest total score for all the answers he or she provided. Congratulate this person for winning the game.