Sunday, January 8, 2012

Board Games for School - Language Arts

I decided that I would post my Board Games for School Language Arts post this week since it goes along with the topic for the Virtual Curriculum Fair this week. My post for that was here in case you missed it... Watching Movies for Language Arts Class...

Well here are the games...

Word Yahtzee - Like the original number games except you have to use the letter tiles to build words and score points on the Yahtzee score pad. On the top sections you have to build 2 to 6 letter words. Each letter has a point value. The points you get depend on the value of the letters you use in your words. Score enough points on the top part and get a bonus. On the bottom use your 7 tiles to build one word, two words, three words, roll all consonants, all vowels and try and get a Yahtzee word using all 7 dice to form one word. You get three rolls each round and if you can't form a word that fits any of the categories you get one chance space to just add up all the scores of the dice, just like in the original. A great game for building and using your vocabulary. If you would like to read all the rules before you buy... check out this pdf. This game is great for the whole family, recommended for ages 8 and up and can be played with any number of players. 

Wordigo from Amazon also available from Timberdoodle - Timberdoodle has a very good description of this game as well as some reviews. Wordigo is a fast-paced that takes only 7 minutes. Everyone plays at the same time so their is no waiting for everyone to take their turn.You can play with 1 to 4 players, ages 8 years to adult. There are 4 copies each of 4 different game boards, which allows varying degrees of difficulty making it easy for children to play with adults

Boggle or try Big Boggle - Boggle is great fun. The game only takes 3-minutes. Shaking the16 cubes, with letters on them, in the cube is very noisy so make sure you don't have a headache on the day you play this game, lol. After you finish shaking the letters you must race to see who can list the most words - with the highest point value - among the random letter assortment in the grid. Link letters up, down, sideways, and diagonally to form common and not-so-common words. You must find as many words, each three-or-more letters long, as you can, in three minutes. Points are tallied by word length so make good long words if you can. If someone else writes down the same word as you do neither of you gets points, so try and find original words. Whoever finds and writes down the must un-duplicated words in 3 minutes, wins. Longer, more unusual words earn more points. For 2 or more players. 

Boggle Junior Game
 - or try this version for you preschool/Kindergarten age children. Boggle Jr. helps children learn letters, spelling, and reading while having loads of fun! This easy version  uses pictures and matching games to allow children to make the connection between objects and their names. With two skill levels, players can challenge themselves by covering the letters and trying to spell the word without looking. The game, for one or more players, includes a game tray with word cover, 30 picture/word cards with 60 three- and four-letter words, and eight letter cubes.

Scrabble - There are a lot of versions of scrabble. Most people know how to play scrabble. This link takes you to the search on Amazon for Scrabble games, there are a few other games on this search, but most of them are Scrabble games. Pick the version that seems best to you.

Mad Libs Mad Roll Game - The boys really love this game. Basically you use the nouns, verbs and adjectives to build sentences... the funnier the better. Before you play you choose one noun,verb and adjective to use on any blank tiles you encounter while playing. This adds more fun to the game. Like Boggle you can use words that connect vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. The game is designed for player ages eight and up and takes approximately 30 minutes to play. This website has all the rules if you are interested in reading them to see exactly how to play.

Language Detective or try this link Language Detective
Some kids love playing detective. Here is one way they can, it's time to solve the language mysteries! This excellent proofreading game takes students on a mission to find mistakes in spelling, word usage, capitalization, and punctuation. Game includes a gameboard, playing pieces, score sheets, instructions, and spinner. For 2-6 players, ages 9 and up. Players must first decide how to end the game. First choice is by one player getting a certain # of points, winner would be the player who gets that many points first. Or you can play that the winner is the person with the most points after 1) a certain # of turns per player, or 2) playing for a number of minutes.

To play - You spin the spinner and travel around the board. After moving you read sentence A, B, or C according to your spin and then correct the error in the sentence. If you find the error, correct it, and are right then you get points. Points awarded are the same as the number of spaces you moved. There are bonus spaces at the corners. If you land on a bonus space you get asked a bonus question from the Bonus Sentence List included with the game. If you find the error in this sentence correctly you get 4 bonus points. Whether they get find the error correctly or not they get an extra spin/turn. 

Apples to Apples Party Box - Apples to Apples is our favorite Language game.
The following games are part of the Apples to Apples family but I don't own them. I would like to own the top 3. Apples to Apples Family says it is a variety of Apples to Apples, it has tokens, sounds like fun. Sour Apples sounds like a lot of fun, also. And, though I don't have any little ones at home any more, I love Disney stuff so a "Goofy" game sounds fun too!
    BACKWORDS SDROWKCAB - A Giant Step Backwards in Board Games. Backwords is a game for 3-8 players or Teams ages 10 to Adult. The games includes 500 Backwords Cards, 300 Exam Cards, 1 Backwords Game Board, 1 Backwords Die, 1 Regular Die, 1 Thirty-Second Sand Timer, 8 Pawns, and a storage tray.

    First you have to decide whether you want to use the easy decks or the hard decks. There are easy and hard decks for the Backwords Cards and the Exam Cards. Once you decide each player takes an Exam card from the deck. You do NOT look at the Exam Cards until the end of the game. The basics of the game are that you move backwards and forward as you roll the 2 dice, choosing "Backwards" and "Exam" cards according to the rules. Each "Backwords" card has three words on it. When you get a "Backwords" card on your roll you read one of the three words, which are written backwards, to the other players. The first to shout out what the correct word would be frontwards gets to move their pawn the same number of moves that you did. If the word is a Palindrome, a word that is the same backwards and forwards like deed, you must shout "BACKWORDS" instead of shouting the word. The aim of the game is to get rid of all your "Exam" cards. You can do that three ways. The most important way is to get to the University of Reversity at the end of the path on the game board. Then you can take an Exam. You have 30 seconds to use up all the Exam cards you can each turn until someone wins. One of you opponents quickly reads the words on the cards one at a time forwards and you have to pronounce the word as it would be Backwards. As I said the first to get rid of all their Exam cards, at the University of Reversity or any of the other ways the rules tell you, is the winner. This is a confusing but good game.
    Upwords or try one of these links

        There is also a newer version. Be careful however. Those on Amazon who bought it said the green color is awful and the tiles are smaller and hard to handle. I suggest getting an older version if you can get one at a good price. There are several used copies of this game presently at Amazon for a good price. Here is the link to the new version, just in case you need/want it. Scrabble Upwords

    Here is how to play: Upwords is like a 3-D Scrabble game, but not. Build words across, down and on top of each other. The challenge is to make new words each time. For example, "stack" becomes "snack" by putting an n on top of the t, then you could change that to "snapshot" by putting tiles "p" and "s" over the "c" and "k" then adding an "h", "o", and "t".  Scoring is simpler, each tile on the bottom level earns two points, and each stacked tile earns one. You cannot use words that are capitalized, hyphenated, or abbreviated words. For 2 to 4 players. The set comes with 100 letter tiles, 4 tile racks, a game board with 10 X 10 grid, and instructions.

    Rummy Roots or this link Rummy Roots
    What do you get when you combine Greek roots tele (far away) and skopeo (to look at)? Telescope, a device that allows us to look at things far away! This card game is challenging and it is a great way to build vocabulary, and word comprehension by exploring the Greek and Latin roots of our English language.

      Includes 90 cards: 27 Greek, 15 Latin, 42 English, 4 Stump cards, and 2 Bonus cards. Ages: 8 to adult

      Pre-Roots is played like the "Go Fish" card game. Kids and adults learn the English meanings of 42 Greek or Latin roots. This is the game you play to start out. Once you have learned some/most of the cards you can move on to Level 1. In level 1 players combine two Greek or Latin root cards together to form English words. (Example: Auto + Graph = Autograph) At this level players begin to use the Dictionary Guide Words. In level 2, dictionary skills are improved as players try to stump their opponents, using the Stump cards. Level 3 is played like Rummy using three root combinations to further expand vocabulary and comprehension. The result of all this fun? Mastering 42 Greek and Latin roots, over 190 vocabulary words learned, and the ability to at least partially decipher over 2,000 words!

      Electronic Catch Phrase or Hasbro Electronic Catch Phrase or Catch Phrase Electronic Carabiner or Electronic Catch Phrase First Edition (especially take a look at the used copies... there were some for as little as $5 + shipping) I also found a couple Electronic Catch Phrase games in Jr. Editions. All of them were over $50. I did not put links here because I think that is excessive. If you are interested you can do a search on Amazon.

      Two teams of two or more players each alternate turns, guessing the answers to clues in 11 categories, about one of 10,000 words, from Food & Drink to Tech & Inventions. Set the timer and the countdown begins. You can make any physical gesture and give almost any verbal clue to get your team to say the word. But you CANNOT:
      • Say a word that RHYMES with the word;
      • Give the FIRST LETTER of the word;
      • SAY A PART OF THE WORD in the clue (i.e. “shoe” for “shoe horn”).
      Once you get a correct answer you pass the game to the other team. Then the other team presses the next button to get a new word and then tries to guess the next word. After a set amount of time the game starts beeping. After about a minute of increasingly faster beeping the game will be over when the buzzer sounds. Even though I can hear the beeping getting faster I almost always jump when the buzzer sounds! Especially, if I am holding the game! LOL This game is a fast, nerve-wracking, high-pressure game of passing the buck (or potato, lol)! This game was a favorite choice for Language Arts when we used to regularly play games for school. This grab it, guess it, pass it game makes you think quick (hopefully) or you can keep on pressing the next button until a word comes up that you think you can get your teammate(s) to guess... then talk fast, and hopefully keep things moving! When the buzzer sounds the team not holding the game gets a point. The team that gets a point also has one turn to guess the word that the losing team did not get. If they guess correctly, they get 1 BONUS point. The winning team is the first to get 7 points. 

      LOGUS SR. - The Slide-Letter Word Game that Challenges Your Mind and Agility. Have you ever had one of those little kid slide puzzles?? Like this one... In this game the tiles move like these. There are 2 blank spaces, 4 rows of tiles horizontally, and 5 columns vertically. To form words players must quickly form words by sliding the letters around. The cards have challenges on both sides and direct the players to form a word, or words. Each card has a point value according to it's degree of difficulty. Some cards ask for words in certain categores, other indicate certain letters to be included, etc. The cards also direct on which lines, either vertical or horizontal, to form the words. You shuffle the cards flipping some around and then shuffle again to get them mixed in really well.

      Below are two examples.

      The first card tells us to use vertical line 3... do you see it...  below the G in LOGUS. The card also tells us we must do a 3 letter word that starts with N.... easy enough.

      I did the word NOT.
      That was worth 5 points.

      The next challenge was a little more difficult.
      Three words on three different lines.
      Now I don't know if you noticed in the picture above but one of the rules of LOGUS is that if your word does not fill all the spaces on the row or column you must place at least one blank with it. If the 3 letter word is on a horizontal line there must be 2 blanks next to it. If a 4 letter word is on a horizontal line then there must be one blank next to it. This gave me a problem in doing the 25 point challenge above. Here is how I worked it out. Horizontal line one has a 3 letter word - LEG, inside the 4 letter word LEGS that allows me to put one blank next to it. On line 2 is the 4 letter word MORE with one blank next to it. On line 3 is the 5 letter word DONUT and then the rest of the letters on line 4. 

      Of course, I did not have the pressure of having an opponent. I did not get the 25 point challenge done very quickly. When playing against another person/team it would be more stressful. I think I did ok with the challenge... I only had 2 blank spaces so the extra letter had to go somewhere. I think that fits the rules, don't you. 

      The first person done the challenge says,"LOGUS", then the other player has to check to make sure the word is spelled correctly and fits all the rules. If they are correct they get to keep the card that had the challenge on it. If they are incorrect they both get to continue until someone again says, "LOGUS." When the last card has been played the one with the most points wins.

      I do have a few games for teaching the alphabet and for early language arts learning for younger kids. However, I could not find any of them currently being sold anywhere. They were old games when I bought them so I have not mentioned them here. 

      Well that is it for our Language Arts Games. Doing these posts really makes me realize there are a few games we have not played in a while. And I don't remember ever playing LOGUS. I want to get back to adding a game or 2 each week to school... It will break up the monotony, make school more fun, and use the resources we have on our shelves.

      Next week's Virtual Fair Curriculum will be on Math. I will put my post up for that tomorrow. Then later this week I plan to do my Board Games for School for Math, to go along with it.

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      Martha said...

      These are some great games. I am making notes of their titles and will add several to my mental wish list.

      We like Boggle so I think Word Boggle would be lots of fun.

      Martha said...

      I meant to say we like Yahtzee, so Word Yahtzee would probably be enjoyed also.

      Too much time working at the computer, I think.

      Debbie said...

      Thanks, Martha. I am glad this was of help to you. That was my purpose in doing the post. I love Yahtzee, too, and Word Yahtzee is lots of fun.


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