It's Friday! Let me share a little fun. Apples to Apples comes to you recommended by Mensa.
Here are the basics of the game. There are two decks of cards. Each player keeps seven red cards in his/ her hand a secret from everyone else. The player whose turn it is to judge flips a green card face up in the middle of the table. It will have an adjective listed. For instance, "vile." The other players choose a card from their hands to place face down in a pile to ensure anonymity. It could be a person, place, thing, or idea. It's whatever you think that the judge will consider most vile. Al Capone? Poison ivy? Family vacations? The Joker? Who knows? The judge flips the cards over, reads them to the group and chooses what he/ she considers the best match to the adjective. That player is awarded the green adjective card as a point. The first player to be awarded 7 green cards wins.
This is the basic version of the game. To play Sour Apples, use antonyms instead of synonyms. For more variations to get a lot of mileage from the same game, check out this entry on Wikipedia-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apples_to_Apples
The adult version works well for your students who seem plugged into the world at large. There are a lot of pop culture references in this game that will go over some heads. The cards do offer short descriptions of the nouns; they also provide synonyms for the adjectives.
The junior version relies less on a child's knowledge of pop culture, and it's in no way insulting to an 8th grader.
Even if you don't have a classroom, it's a flexible game to bring to any gathering of friends or family.
Jennifer Upson, a relative of one of my own middle school classmates, generously donated both versions of Apples to Apples to my students. Hooray for the kindness of strangers!