Monday, 18 March 2013

Spelling... Unit vocabulary... Creativity

A couple of weeks back, my class had spent half an hour gathering all the vocabulary to do with climate change which they considered important and had filled a couple of large pieces of paper. 

Last year in a similar activity, students had chosen words from the list to define and explain, by drawing, writing or using in a sentence or by giving examples. We did this again and pinned up a host of index cards. And then I wondered was there something more we could do with those words.

As it happens, that morning I had read the blog post, "Are you Creative?" by Sonya Terborg and I had also seen a tweet from @travisattis about Unfair Math Games.

So I gave a challenge:

Create a game to help your peers learn to spell these words or learn the meanings. 

I don't do this sort of thing often enough. I say this to myself every time I give such a task and see the excitement and enthusiasm that students display when totally engaged...

Some of the ideas:
Memory game with words on matching cards.
Memory cards with words in capitals on one card and lower case on the on the matching card. 
Memory game with words on one set of cards and definitions on another. 

A selected few words, with letters cut up. Object to try to make the words from the letters in a given time.

The most inventive used little whiteboards, marked with steps. Two people played. They were given a word and the first to explain the meaning got to move their token up the steps, counting the syllables of the word. 

After everyone had a chance to play, students reflected on their games. Some were able to suggest ways they'd modify the game having had people play. Some were able to see ways they could make their game more challenging.

But the question is.... who learned that vocabulary best? The game creators or the game players?

Photos are my own.

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