Friday, February 17, 2012

Literacy Practice with Scrabble

I LOVE to play board games at home, but I also enjoying using them in my classroom. In addition to encouraging cooperation, turn taking and a variety of other social skills, I find I can often use the games to work on math and literacy skills. So, every Friday, I am going to post a Friday Game Night post, giving tips on how to use a particular board game in your classroom. Here’s this week’s Friday Game Night Tip:

Scrabble – Part 2 (Literacy)

Scrabble is one of my favorite games for literacy skills!  I even use Scrabble for math – here are some tips on how I do that.

1. Standard Play – Playing scrabble with just standard rules works on lots of word making skills.  Teach students standard play with the strategy of using those double word scores and making a word plural by adding and s to get more points, and you’ll see their interest in spelling peaked.

2. Longest Word Contest – Rather than limiting students to 7 scrabble tiles, split the bag between your small group (think 20 tiles per child) and challenge them to make the longest word possible.  This would be a great time to review compound words, prefixes and suffixes which can make shorter words into longer words!

3. Describing Words – Show students a picture, or give them the name of an item and challenge them to come up with an adjective that describes it – using only the words in their scrabble tray.  Once everyone is finished, let them “justify” their answers (think apples to apples style).  You’ll get adjectives and persuasive in all while the kids think you’re playing a game!

4. Topic Word – Have a new science or social studies topic and want to activate background knowledge?  Give students 10 scrabble tiles and ask them to make a word that tells something about the topic.  For example, if your topic is plants, maybe they will come up with roots, or leaves, very similar to a word cloud.

I hope some of these suggestions will allow you to use Scrabble in a new, interesting way in your classrooms. Do you want other game suggestions for your classroom? Click HERE for a all of my Friday Game Night Suggestions. Keep playing games and watch your kids learn!