Friday, June 1, 2012

Spell & Twist

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:

Twister - Part 2 (Literacy)

At this time of the year, it’s important to get kids up and moving and Twister is a great game to do just that. However, you can make Twister educational too! Here are some ways you can use Twister when teaching Literacy Skills. For most of these variations, you will need to add letters to the Twister circles. You can either write the letters right on the circles, or write the letters on index cards and tape the index cards to the circles.

(Management Tip: If you can get your hands on multiple twister boards, you can spread your students around the room on various boards with 3-4 students on a board and use one spinner for all of them. Or, you can die cut colored circles and make a LARGE twister board that will encompass your entire class and tape them to the floor – if you have enough space. Also, when teaching these variations – you should always be the caller for the first few rounds. After students understand the concept, then you can let children take a turn as caller, or even break them into small groups and let this be a fun, active center.)

twister board lettersFor each of these games, pair students up so that there is a “twister” who is actually physically putting hands and feet on the board and playing and a “thinker” who is calling out answers or filling in the sheet.  A team can go “out” by either the twister falling OR the thinker getting the wrong answer.

1. Letter Categories – For this variation, decide on a category before the round begins.  Possible categories could be: animal names, place names, proper nouns,  important people, nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.  When the “twister” puts their hand or feet on a letter, the “thinker” must call out a word that fits the category, but starts with the letter the twister landed on.  For example, if the category is animal names and the “twister” lands on the letter M, the thinker might call out monkey.twister words - use twister to make words - free download

2. Create a Word – For this variation, thinkers will use the letters landed on by the twisters to create a word – similar to a word scramble.  Feel free to grab this free sheet from Google Docs to use with this variation.

3. Silly Sentences – For this variation, ttwister make a sentence sheet - free downloadhinkers will use the letters landed on by the twisters to create a sentence – each letter will be the first letter of a word in the sentence they create. Feel free to grab this free sheet from Google Docs to use with this variation.

4. Spell & Twist – For this variation, give the thinkers a list of spelling words.  Each time the twister lands on a letter, they can cross that letter off of ONE of the spelling words.  Each word that gets completely crossed off gets that team a point.  The team with the most points when the round ends wins.

I hope some of the ideas will help you use Twister in a new, different way. Find more ways to use board games in your room by clicking HERE. Keep playing games and watching your students learn.


Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources