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Human Tic Tac Toe (grades 7-12)


Author: Reena Markstahler, Southwood High School, Indiana


Subject: Any


Objective: Content Review


Materials and Preparation:

  • Develop three or more sets of 9 questions, each with answers

  • 9 large "X" cards and 9 large "O" cards


Student Grouping: 2 teams, plus one group of 9


The Play:


  1. Choose 9 students who will represent the tic tac toe board. Arrange 9 desks in a tic tac toe grid.

  2. Assign each of the 9 students a number, 1-9.

  3. Explain to these 9 students that they have the answers to the question(s) they will be given (Student number corresponds to question number). They may choose to answer the question correctly or they may bluff. Encourage the students to be animated, to act confident, or unsure of themselves to make it difficult for the teams.

  4. Each student of the tic tac toe board should have two large cards: one with an "X" and one with an "O" and a copy of their question(s) and answer(s).

  5. Divide the remaining students into two teams.

  6. Decide which team will go first.

  7. The first team will decide which tic tac toe person will answer their first question.

  8. The teacher will ask the question.

  9. The tic tac toe person will answer their question.

  10. Together the team will decide if the tic tac toe person is telling the truth or bluffing.

  11. If the team chooses correctly, they earn the square. Play moves to the other team.

  12. If the team chooses incorrectly, the other team automatically earns the square and gets the next turn.

  13. Continue play until a team wins or the board is complete.


Scoring: Team that wins (3 in a row) earns a point. If there is no clear winner, the team with the most squares earns the point.


Further Play: If time permits, have the tic tac toe people move to a different position and begin with the second set of questions.


Comments or Variations: It is recommended to review the correct answers to any that the tic tac toe person may have bluffed.


If the team thinks an answer is being bluffed, they must correctly answer the question to earn the square.If the team doesn't answer correctly the other team can choose to:


  1. determine whether the answer is correct or bluffed. (Again, if they choose that it is bluffed they have to correctly answer the question.)

  2. pass


In either case, if the second team is incorrect or they choose to pass, the point goes to the tic tac toe board, and neither team earns the square.


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