If you’ve seen my Friday Game Night Posts, you know how much of a game-aholic I am! So for the next few weeks, I’m going to highlight just some of the games I love in my Top 10 posts. Last week, we looked at games to use in math. This week, we’re going to look at the Top 10 Board Games to use in Grammar and Writing Lessons and Literacy Centers. Often, I will introduce a game in Small Group Writing or Guided Reading, as a way to get students interested in a topic, and then put the same game into Literacy Centers to reinforce the topic in a more independent setting.
10. Upwords – I love using Upwords when I am teaching word families or talking about vowel substitutions. It’s such an easy way to show how changing one letter can change the whole word.
9. Chutes and Ladders – The game board on Chutes & Ladders is an inspiration to me! There are so many cute “picture” stories on it. I love to pull it out in guided reading when we are talking about inferences or guided writing when we are talking about describing and creating a picture with words.
8. Boggle – Boggle is the ultimate word game! I love seeing kids look at all those random letters and then see the words just start coming. It’s a great, easy center. As an extension, I like to have kids take the words they found and make a story out of them.
7. Very Silly Sentences – Whenever I’m ready to start talking about parts of speech, Very Silly Sentences is the go-to game. The color coded cards are such an easy way to talk about where each part of speech goes in a sentence and why each sentence needs all these parts of speech.
6. Taboo – Do you get sick of hearing those same tired words in your student’s writing? In order to show kids that they can say something, without saying those words, I love to pull out the game Taboo. It gets students in the frame of mind, to say “Hey, I can say that in lots of different ways!” After playing, we will make a list of words that are “Taboo” in our writing!
5. Scategories Jr. – Whether you are teaching or reviewing beginning consonant sounds, Scategories Jr. is a great way to have fun doing it. It’s easy to modify this game and play it with your whole class, or just that one group that needs a little more time! Then, send it to centers for a good regular reinforcement.
4. Pictionary – I know it sounds counter-intuitive to put a game with no words into a Guided Writing lesson, but Pictionary is a great way to get kids thinking about what needs to go into a story. If it’s in the picture that’s needed to describe the topic, then when we write, it should be in the words too!
3. Apples to Apples – Students have the hardest time explaining their answers in reading and writing! Apples to Apples gives them the chance to justify their answers, by explaining how it could be that volcanoes would fit into the category of “juicy things”. Good for categories and persuasive writing.
2. Rory’s Story Cubes – The easies brainstorming activity ever! Rory’s Story Cubes
stop the “I don’t know what to write about” complaints real quick. Let your kids roll the dice and use the picture to get writing!
1. You Gotta Be Kidding – I have the adult version of this too – Would You Rather – which I use with older kids. You Gotta be Kidding is a great way to start talking about persuasive writing. Kids get to persuade their friends why they should also believe that “it’d be better to eat worms than bettles” and other truly gross things!
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