## Friday, March 16, 2012

### Literacy Ice Game

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:

Don’t Break the Ice – Part 1 (Literacy)

For each of these variations on Don’t Break the Ice, put a label or a small piece of masking tape on each piece of “ice”. On each piece of masking tape, write a letter of the alphabet.

1. Make a Word – As students play Don’t Break the Ice, remind them that they point is to get the LEAST amount of ice to fall. As each person takes a turn tapping the ice, they will collect all the ice that falls after their tap. Once all the ice has fallen, the students should use as many of their letters as possible to make words.  After a designated set amount of time – 2 minutes is generally enough – stop the students and award one point for each letter used in an acceptable word.

2. What’s Your “A” Word – As students play Don’t Break the Ice, remind them that they point is to get the LEAST amount of ice to fall. As each person takes a turn tapping the ice, they will collect all the ice that falls after their tap.  For each letter they collect, they must come up with a word that begins with that letter.  For example, if a student collects two pieces of ice after their tap, one with an A on it and one with a F on it, they may say “A is for Alligator and F is for Frog.”

3. ABC Order – Front & Back – As students play Don’t Break the Ice, remind them that they point is to get the LEAST amount of ice to fall. As each person takes a turn tapping the ice, they will collect all the ice that falls after their tap. Once all the ice has fallen, the students should line the letters up in ABC order.  If students are already good at ABC order – try Reverse ABC order.

4. Sorting your Ice - As students play Don’t Break the Ice, remind them that they point is to get the LEAST amount of ice to fall. As each person takes a turn tapping the ice, they will collect all the ice that falls after their tap. Once all the ice has fallen, the students should sort their ice by given category (vowels vs. consonants, small, tall & fall letters, 1st half of the alphabet vs. 2nd half of the alphabet etc.)  For an extra challenge, allow students to sort without a given category.  After sorting, they will need to justify the category of their sort and why each of the letters belongs where it was placed.

I hope some of these suggestions will allow you to use Don't Break the Ice in a new, interesting way in your classrooms. Do you want other game suggestions for your classroom? Click HERE for some more suggestions on using games like Yahtzee, Chutes and Ladders and Battleship. Keep playing games and watch your kids learn!