I spy

A fun online activity to engage students with their own videos. Students need to guess a particular object in the background of any of their peers. 

Activity goal
Get to know each other
In class
< 10 minutes
Group size
Small | Medium

MS Teams, Zoom

Step 1

Ask all students to turn on their camera and turn off their virtual background if possible. You can explain that you'll be playing a guessing game based on the objects in their background. 

Step 2

Start by saying "I spy something (insert one characteristics of the object)" and let the student guess whose video it is. After one or two incorrect guesses, give another characteristic as a hint. 

Step 3

Once students guess it, you can give them a turn to pick a random object and say "I spy something ..." and let everyone guess again. 

Step 4

Repeat until you run out of students or time. 


  • Success of this energizer depends on the quality of the background and the video.
  • You might ask students to arrange their camera in a way that at least a few objects in their room appear. 
  • Explain how the activity works and give students a minute or so to get dressed and adjust/clear their background.

Consider the tools and materials mentioned here as suggestions. In many cases it’s possible to use alternative tools. Please turn to the Learning & Innovation team of your faculty (EUR or EMC) first to see which online and offline tools are available and how to apply them. 

MS Teams, Zoom

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