Vocabulary Games

We all have our word walls. Some use content word walls and others, like me, smack them all up there together. Do you use your word wall throughout the year though? This has been one of my biggest struggles throughout teaching. I know that I should be using it and reviewing it, but I just didn't know how.
Vocabulary Games-keep your students involved with your word wall, don't let it become part of your classroom decor!

So, what did I do? I made it a literacy station. The station met right in front of the word wall and started with some work on roots, prefixes, and suffixes each time. Once they had completed that work they were free to play the game of the week. We went through quite a few games in a year rotating them every week or so.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing my students' favorite games with you. I am by no means claiming ownership of these games. They are games that my colleagues and I brainstormed together, based on what we had done in the past or read about elsewhere. I am simply compiling them together.

Along with the words on the word wall I also have an index card with each word that also has a definition, the word used in context, synonyms, and antonyms written on the back. Some games these cards are necessary for, and other they aren't, but some of my students use them even when they don't need to so I always leave them there.
Vocabulary Games-keep your students involved with your word wall, don't let it become part of your classroom decor!

OOPS!

OOPS! is a game for two or more players which involves a fair amount of chance. You will need the word cards as well as several cards with OOPS! written on them. Shuffle all the cards. In each turn a student will draw a card and read the word to the group then identify the characteristic you are looking for such as definition, using it in a sentence, or its synonyms and antonyms. Other students in the group check the student using the information on the back of the card. 
If they are correct they keep the card. If incorrect they must put it back. Play continues, but when an OOPS! card is drawn that player must return all their cards. The goal of the game is to have the most cards in the end. 
Vocabulary Games-keep your students involved with your word wall, don't let it become part of your classroom decor!

Splat!

Splat! can be played by two or more players. One person is the caller and the others have fly swatters. The caller describes a word either by definition, prefix, suffix, context clues, synonyms or antonyms. The other players then try to be the first person to locate the word and Splat! it with their swatter. Then players trade roles. 
Management tip: I have to be very explicit with directions involving both the fly swatters and noise level. This game can easily get out of hand for obvious reasons, but can also be easily manageable.  
Vocabulary Games-keep your students involved with your word wall, don't let it become part of your classroom decor!

Stacks

Stacks can be played by two or more players and requires a sleeve (or two depending on how many words you are using) of dixie cups with your words written on them. Students draw a cup and identify the word. I have had students play where they have to define the word, give a synonym or antonym, or use the word correctly in a sentence. The other players use our deck of word cards to check the first student. 
If they are correct they get to stack their cup. If incorrect they put the cup back in the center pile. Play continues through all players with the goal of building the highest stack out of cups. 
Materials tip: Store your cups in an empty Pringles can to keep them in their original shape. 
Vocabulary Games-keep your students involved with your word wall, don't let it become part of your classroom decor!

Hangman

This one is the classic game that we all know. My students love it, but admittedly it requires a lot less knowledge of the word other than spelling which is not my goal usually. I will throw this one in there during short weeks and when we have had a bunch of assessments to give them a bit of a break.
Vocabulary Games-keep your students involved with your word wall, don't let it become part of your classroom decor!

2 comments:

  1. Love the game ideas, especially Stacks! Super fun! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I also love the Stacks game idea. Adaptable at every grade level--even Kindergarten!

    ReplyDelete

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