Scrabble is one of those games that never disappoints. The rules are fairly easy to understand and the game moves fast enough to keep boredom at bay. There are a ton of different ways to implement Scrabble in the classroom. You can host a classroom Scrabble tournament, get crafty with DIY letters tiles, or lighten the mood with some quiet old-fashioned game time. There are also versions of the word game you can purchase that might lend themselves to your particular classroom environment. Scrabble Slam, for example, is cost efficient, easy to implement, and perfect for down time or a rainy day. In a game of Scrabble Slam, players race to get rid of their cards by changing the existing four letter word. Played in groups of two-four players, Scrabble Slam works well in most classroom settings.
Vocabulary is the best single indicator of intellectual ability and an accurate predictor of success at school. -Dr. Warwick B. Elley
Scattergories is a game that will have your students begging for more. It’s just plain fun. The original version of the game is a bit too cumbersome for classroom use, but the card game can be played anywhere and anytime. Students begin play by flipping over a category card and a letter card. The first player to think of a word that starts with the selected letter and meets the category criteria wins that round. The player that wins the most rounds wins the game. The card version can also be adapted for whole-class play. Divide the class into teams, display seven to ten different category cards and only one letter card. Teams compete (within a set time limit) to find words for each category that begin with the selected letter. Points are awarded to teams that have original words. If two teams have the same word, that word cannot count toward team points.
Taking the time for students to play games doesn’t have to make you feel like you are giving up your valuable instructional time. Research shows that multiple exposures to a word are required before accurate application is possible. Implementing words games in your classroom is a student-centered way to support vocabulary growth and make learning fun.