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ELT Game Corner

Welcome to my Game Corner. Here I introduce a game for you to use in your classes to help make English come alive.

June 01, 2003

Junior Scrabble

junior_scrabble.jpg Junior Scrabble is ideal for intermediate to advanced elementary school students or beginning junior high students in that it helps them spell English words silently and out loud and increases vocabulary at the same time. Although the game was originally designed for four students, actually from two to eight students can play. Each student or pair (if eight are playing) takes seven letters and lines them up in front of themselves so everyone else can see them.

The Jr. Scrabble blue board is printed with illustrated words that are linked together, which helps students read and spell naturally via visual cues. The first student must put two letters down on the Jr. Scrabble Board. But the letters must be put down in order; in other words, the first letters of two words or the first two letters of one word must be put down over those letters. That student then selects two more letter tiles from the tile pile. Then the next student repeats the same process, putting down two letters either at the beginning of a word or continuing other words.

Students will naturally try to insert their letters anywhere, so the teacher has to be strict about the order rule: letters can only be put down from the beginning of a word and proceed from there. The game continues this way until a word is completely spelled out. When a student completes a word, the teacher asks the student to say the word and spell it. The teacher can say to the student, "Please say the word." Once the student has done that, then the teacher can ask the student, "Please spell the word," or "How do you spell the word?" Upon complettion of this, the teacher can ask, "How do you say.......in Japanese?" If the student can read the word, spell it and tell the teacher what the word means in Japanese, then he/she receives a token. The student or pair with the most tokens wins the game.

As time goes on, the teacher can assign one of the stronger students to be the "teacher." And that student can be in charge and ask the students to read, spell the words and ask what the word is in Japanese.

The suspense always builds when teams are about to complete a word. And the students or teams are always especially excited as they start collecting tokens for completed words from the teacher or the student "teacher."

Junior Scabble is a cozy game to play with classmates, and students learn how to spell and increase their vocabulary easily and naturally. The language needed is repetitive, so the players are usually confident after one game.

On the reverse side of the board is another game entitled "Colors and Counters." In this game, higher level students (who can spell) can make their own words which interlock vertically and horizontally. Both games, which take about twenty minutes to play, are good training for students to eventually develop the skills necessary for playing Original Scrabble, the most popular word game in the world.

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