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My Speech Universe: Secret Square

06 March 2013

Secret Square

Secret Square is a game in my cabinet that I have had I think since I started as a speech path in the schools.  It looks like it is out of print, but I thought some of you might have it hiding in your closet or cabinet too! I am attaching a couple of pages of pictures that you could print off and use in the same way as this game.

Basically, this game is a set of 96 tiles with different object pictures on them.  It also has 25 chips.  The directions of the game say to choose 25 squares, at random.  Place the squares face up, in 5 columns of 5 rows each (I used 36 chips in my example).  You then pick a "Hider" who places a chip under one of the squares for all of the "Seekers" to try and find.

Players then start asking "Yes" and "No" questions about the squares to discover which square hides the chip.  Seekers may only ask questions that can be answered by "Yes" or "No".  For example,

Seekers may ask:
"Is it a fruit?"  "Is it an animal?"  "Can it fly?"  "Is it in the top row?"

Seekers may not ask:
"What color is it?"  "What letter does it start with?"  What row is it in?"

After answering, the Hider removes all of the squares that don't match the answer, and places them back in the box.  This continues until the secret chip is found.  The round ends when the Seeker names the secret square.  The Seeker then gets to keep the chip.  The Seeker that correctly names the square then gets to be the Hider with a new chip, and play continues with a new set of squares.  The player at the end of the game with the most chips wins.

There are many other ways to use these squares:

Same or Different
Select 25 tiles and arrange the picture side down.  Students take turns turning over two tiles at a time.  If they are able to perform one of the following tasks, they get to keep the two tiles.
1. state one way in which the two items are the same
2. state one way in which the two items are different

Describe It
Select 25 tiles and place them face up on the table.  Students take turns selecting tiles one at a time.  Students then have to describe the picture.  You can ask appropriate questions such as:
What color is it?
What is it used for?
Who would use it?

"Three for Me"
This game is based off of another game that I have called 3 for Me.  This game is also out of print now (I think it is a sign that I am getting old)!

Select 25 or 36 tiles and place them face up on the table in rows and columns.  Students then have to pick three different tiles and state how they are all similar.

Examples could include:
lion, cow, penguin because they are all animals
strawberry, apple, fire truck because they are all red
balloons, airplane, bird because they all go in the air.

Really, you could use any kinds of small pictures for this game.  Click HERE for a free sheet of pictures that you could use for these activities.



At March 6, 2013 at 4:44 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Jen, What a great idea! I have this game and can't wait to try the pictures you have. I'm not able to access them however...help.

At March 6, 2013 at 5:08 PM , Blogger Sharon said...

I have the Disney version of this game and find that it is a little more difficult to play because the characters are not as familiar to the kids. I would love a copy of the pictures you have as well, but can't access them! BTW - wonderful ideas....THANK YOU!

At March 6, 2013 at 5:15 PM , Blogger Jen Shamberger said...

Sorry everyone! I fixed the google drive document. You should be able to access them now. SO SORRY!

At March 6, 2013 at 5:27 PM , Blogger Jen Shamberger said...

If you try to download the freebie, could you please let me know if you are successful? Thanks!

At March 6, 2013 at 6:21 PM , Blogger ShannanW said...

I was able to download no problem! Thanks for freebie as I don't have the game:)

At March 6, 2013 at 6:22 PM , Blogger Stampngrl said...

Thanks! It works now :)

At March 6, 2013 at 7:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, got it downloaded easily. Secret Square is a favorite of mine and I have 3 for me too. Guess that means I'm getting old too.

At March 6, 2013 at 7:23 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

This is a great game! I've even made this game using bottle caps from milk and juice jugs and stickers. Thanks for the picture freebie.

At March 6, 2013 at 7:42 PM , Blogger Jen Shamberger said...

What a great idea! I'll have to start saving my milk tops!

At March 6, 2013 at 7:42 PM , Blogger Jen Shamberger said...


At March 7, 2013 at 3:29 AM , Blogger Adina Levy said...

I love this game too! I use it for higher functioning kids with autism for theory of mind/keeping 'secrets' and for kids with word finding difficulties - I play this version similarly to your 'describe it' version, but the other player(s) cant see the picture and they have to guess by asking yes/no Qs. (Actually that may be how you play 'describe it'...?)

At March 7, 2013 at 7:33 PM , Blogger CC said...

I've used this game for so long, I even got it as a gift for my niece about... 10 years ago! Ack where does the time go?!

At March 7, 2013 at 7:37 PM , Blogger Jen Shamberger said...

I know! It feels like I just bought this game, but you are right, it has been about 10 years! I don't know where the time goes!

At April 17, 2013 at 1:30 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At May 17, 2013 at 11:48 AM , Blogger Lisa's ESL Site said...

Hi Jen, the file doesn't work anymore and can't get access to the pictures.

At May 17, 2013 at 6:46 PM , Blogger Jen Shamberger said...

I'm sorry you are having difficulties opening the file. The link is still active, and the share settings are set to public, so everyone should have access to it. Is your pdf reader updated? I know that can sometimes make a difference. If you are still having difficulties, please email me and I can send you a copy of the file. speechuniverse@gmail.com

At July 30, 2013 at 5:15 PM , Anonymous Lia said...

I love this game and use it all the time. It is so easy to adapt to hit different targets and the kids love it. I'll have the try the Three for Me. Thanks for sharing.

At September 12, 2014 at 10:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a new clinician and really appreciate your easy to read ideas!

At May 3, 2015 at 2:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

love love love this game...I use it all the time! I was so happy to find another at a school I took over!

At October 18, 2015 at 4:58 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I just found this game in my closet the other day! Thanks for the great suggestions :)

At March 20, 2017 at 3:54 PM , Blogger xa said...

Thanks for the pictures! I loved using this game with ESL students years ago and was sad I couldn't find it again for a reasonable price.

At November 17, 2017 at 12:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for making this!! I just switched to a new school this year and The Secret Square Game is not here :( I used to use this all the time at my other school! Thanks again and can't wait to play with my speech students!


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