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A Fun Learning Game For Every Age And Subject

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I love learning games.

They’re a great way to build camaraderie. They create fun and energy. They also have a knack for making information stick.

One of my favorites is called the vocabulary game.

It’s a review game you can play for virtually any subject and any grade level. And your students will have a blast.

Here’s how it works:

Step #1 – Write each letter of the alphabet on large index cards, one letter per card. Create two sets, one written in red marker and one in blue.

Step #2 – Add 2-3 extra cards of letters that occur more frequently, like e, t, a, i, o, n, s, h, and r.

Step #3 – Break your class into groups of 6-8 students, but no more than four groups.

Step #4 – Take on the role of a cheesy game show host. I like to wear a sport jacket and say things like “Come on down! and Heeeere they are!”

Step #5 – Place each stack of cards on its own separate desk or table at the front of your room.

Step #6 – Call two groups up to compete. To begin, each group must stand side-by-side, silent, and facing the room with their hands clasped in front of them.

Note: Only two groups play at a time, competing against each other. The other two groups watch. They may cheer but not help. Each game lasts only a couple minutes.

Step #7 – Announce a clue to a vocabulary word. “A triangle in which two sides have equal length.”

Step #8 – As soon as you give the clue, they must work together and rifle through the cards to spell out the correct word.

Step #9 – The first team to have every member holding a card silently while spelling out the word correctly and facing the class gets 15 points.

Note: Depending on the word, some students may have to hold two cards or two students have to hold one card together.

Step #10 – If the other team is also able to spell the word out correctly, they receive 10 points. This encourages both teams to finish.

Step #11 – Rotate the other groups in. You can also pair two groups together as a team (even though they compete separately). This way they cheer louder and high five each other as they switch.

Step #12 – Keep track of points. Award the winning team a trophy they can parade around the room like the World Cup (and then return right back to your cupboard).

F-U-N

Adjust the game according to your needs.

I’ll add an extra point if a whole team freezes into funny positions or facial expressions. You can also take away points for not stacking the cards for the next group or not congratulating each other.

Just do so in your host voice and never break character. It’s a time for learning, yes. But it’s also for having fun.

It’s for working together and building relationships. It’s for appreciating each other and being a valued member of your special classroom.

PS – My new book Inspire will be officially available on Tuesday.

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