- Write a list of 10 words on the whiteboard or chalkboard at the front of the classroom. Alternatively you may give students a printed copy with a list of the ten words. The words can be from a current unit of study, a spelling list, or be tied to a timely theme. For the purpose of explaining this game we will use this list of words tied to winter weather:
*blizzard *flurry *freezing *icy *precipitation *scarf *sleet *snowman *snowstorm *toboggan
- Write one of these words on your Response Paddle and say to students, “Guess which word I wrote on my paddle?”
- Students guess the word by writing it on their paddles.
- Now give students the first of three clues about the word you wrote. For example, the first clue might be: “The word I wrote is a two-syllable word.” Using the list above, this clue narrows the list of possible words to six.
- Ask students to stand up if they written a two-syllable word. Those who have written one or three-syllable words must erase the word and write one that fits this clue. These students remain seated.
- Provide a second clue. For example: “The word I wrote is a compound word.” This clue narrows the possibilities to two words — snowstorm or snowman.
- Tell the students who have written a two-syllable compound word on his or her whiteboard to remain standing and the others to take their seats.
- Those who are seated who do not have a compound word must erase their word and write one of the two compound words.
- Provide a third clue: “The word I wrote is a synonym for the word blizzard.” If you do not have a synonym for blizzard on your paddle, sit down.”
- Tell the seated students who do not have a synonym for blizzard to erase their word and write the correct word.
- The standing students now show everyone including the teacher the word on their Paddles. Those who guessed “snowstorm” from the beginning score one point.
- Be sure to check to see that everyone now has “snowstorm” written on their paddle.
Chose a new word and continue the game with a different set of clues. For example:
* The word I wrote has at least two syllables.
* The word I wrote has a suffix.
* The root word of the word I wrote is a six-letter word.
Continue the game with another set of clues. For example:
* The word I wrote has two consecutive letters that are the same.
* The word I wrote is a two-syllable word.
* The word I wrote can be described as a light snowfall.
Continue the game with yet another set of clues. For example:
* The word I wrote is either one or two-syllables.
* The word wrote is a noun.
* The word I wrote is an item of clothing.
“Guess Which Word” actively engages all students in understanding the structure and meaning of this list of vocabulary words. At the same time, there is an element of luck which makes the game fun for everyone. Be sure to keep score and offer some kind of reward for high-point-getters.
To print a copy of these instructions, open this PDF file:Vocabulary Building- Guess Which Word
And let us know how the game of “Guess Which Word” goes in your class.