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Words, words, words – here’s a challenge for you

Do you enjoy a challenge? Do you want to push yourself to see how many words you know in English? Here’s a game I use in the classroom with my students. It works because a) it’s a game (who doesn’t like a game?) b) it’s played with a partner which makes it competitive (everybody loves a bit of competition, don’t they?) c) it makes you really think about the words you know, but don’t use (activating your passive vocabulary), d) … the list goes on. Let’s start. The objective is to make as many words as possible. First, you need to create a large square and divide it equally with the same amount of squares on each side. Then add a letter into each square. For example: There are a few rules to remember:       So, where does the competition come in? I always divide my class into teams (any number is good but not more than four people in a team is recommended). Here are the steps: Divide into teams (you could also just play this with one friend). Set the timer – everyone has 3 minutes to make as many words as possible. At the end of 3 minutes everyone stops.  Next, one person from each team slowly reads out their list of words. If someone on another team has the same word, that word is crossed out and nobody gets any points. If no other team has the same word, points are awarded. When one team finishes, another team reads out their words. Again, if someone from another team has the same word, nobody gets any points. The winner is the team with the most points. (See points table below) Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 sad 0 points lot 1 point lots 2 points sadly 3 points sad 0 points day 1 point fade 2 points fades 3 points sad 0 points told 2 points fast 2 points fastly 0 points (not a correct word) So, Team 1 is the winner with 7 points. The scores are as follows: 3-letter word = 1 point 4-letter word = 2 points 5-letter word = 3 points 6 + letters = 4 points You can adapt this to add more squares and more letters. You could even put in a secret word which is worth 5 points if no one guesses it. For example: The secret word in this example is ‘tourism’. If no team guesses the word in the round above, you could give everybody an extra minute to find the secret word. You could give them the first letter ‘t’ to start with and tell them how many letters there are in the word. The first team to find the word is awarded the extra 5 points. Or why not play it alone and on your phone? There are some online boggle games you could play while waiting for your train. Happy boggling! Liz

Liz Marqueiro

20 March, 2020

Words, words, words – here’s a challenge for you

words

Do you enjoy a challenge? Do you want to push yourself to see how many words you know in English?

Here’s a game I use in the classroom with my students. It works because a) it’s a game (who doesn’t like a game?) b) it’s played with a partner which makes it competitive (everybody loves a bit of competition, don’t they?) c) it makes you really think about the words you know, but don’t use (activating your passive vocabulary), d) … the list goes on.

Let’s start.

The objective is to make as many words as possible.

First, you need to create a large square and divide it equally with the same amount of squares on each side. Then add a letter into each square. For example:

Boggle 1

There are a few rules to remember:

Boggle Rules

 

Boggle Rule 2

 

Boggle Rule 2

 

So, where does the competition come in? I always divide my class into teams (any number is good but not more than four people in a team is recommended).

Here are the steps:

  1. Divide into teams (you could also just play this with one friend).
  2. Set the timer – everyone has 3 minutes to make as many words as possible.
  3. At the end of 3 minutes everyone stops. 
  4. Next, one person from each team slowly reads out their list of words. If someone on another team has the same word, that word is crossed out and nobody gets any points. If no other team has the same word, points are awarded.
  5. When one team finishes, another team reads out their words. Again, if someone from another team has the same word, nobody gets any points.
  6. The winner is the team with the most points. (See points table below)
Team 1 Team 2 Team 3
sad 0 points lot 1 point lots 2 points
sadly 3 points sad 0 points day 1 point
fade 2 points fades 3 points sad 0 points
told 2 points fast 2 points fastly 0 points (not a correct word)

So, Team 1 is the winner with 7 points.

The scores are as follows:

  • 3-letter word = 1 point
  • 4-letter word = 2 points
  • 5-letter word = 3 points
  • 6 + letters = 4 points

You can adapt this to add more squares and more letters. You could even put in a secret word which is worth 5 points if no one guesses it.

For example:

Boggle 4

The secret word in this example is ‘tourism’. If no team guesses the word in the round above, you could give everybody an extra minute to find the secret word. You could give them the first letter ‘t’ to start with and tell them how many letters there are in the word. The first team to find the word is awarded the extra 5 points.

Or why not play it alone and on your phone? There are some online boggle games you could play while waiting for your train. Happy boggling!

Liz

Liz Marqueiro

Liz has been teaching IELTS around the world for over 25 years.

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