M2-8 Word Games

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Aim: Activities using words to challenge. Introduction: To use word games to challenge and build confidence and a fun way to learn. Also helps to build on creativity, response and competence. Following instructions is an important element of this Topic. Taken from the BB Anchors Pro Pack M-2-8


Activity 1
Tennis ball

Activity 2 & 4

Activity 3
Props (suggestion below)


Activity 1 - World Tennis

Aim: To think about words and to think quickly — requires concentration.

• Sit the children in a circle. Get one child to sit in the middle of the circle and close their eyes. A tennis ball is then passed clockwise from child to child. (A little like pass the parcel.)
• When the child in the middle says STOP they need to say a letter (A.B,C ) then the person holding the tennis ball has to name 6 words starting with that letter
• Meanwhile the tennis ball keeps being passed round the circle.
• The aim for the child naming words is to have all six said before the ball comes back to them.
• If they don’t they have to change places with the child in the middle.
• If they have the middle child closes their eyes again, the ball starts being passed and when they’re ready they call STOP and another letter. And so on.

Don’t allow place names, Christian names or some of the tougher letters.(X for example!) The reason for having the middle player’s eyes closed as the ball is going round is so they won’t know who has got it when they call,

Extension Tasks/Adaptations:
You can increase or decrease the number of words to be said depending on the ability of your group.

Activity 2 - Story Circles

Aim: Creativity and imagination.

If there is a large number of children divide your group into sets of 5-8 children and sit in a tight circle. The goal is keep the story moving along quickly.

Easy Starters:
Get each child to use one word at a time. Aim for them to create a complete story: opening. middle and end in 4 rounds. Each person adds one word at a time.

Children have to help each other by making sure their words keep the story moving towards an ending.

• Two words at a time
• Follow the alphabet: first word begins with A. second word with B, etc.

• Demonstrate that you want the children to tell you a story and that it must have a beginning, a middle and an ending.
• Some children will get silly and add words that break the flow but make all the children laugh.
• This is ok for the first time - but then set them a challenge to finish a story and even reward that.

Extension Tasks/Adaptations:
Slightly Harder Variations:
• Add a genre: A fairy story, a scary story, an adventure story.
• It should include a specific word three times: Example: boom, crash, hammock, ham, goggles etc.

Activity 3 - Best Thing Ever

Aim: To use a prop to be creative and describe their best thing ever.

Put all the props into a box and cover.

• Put together a box of props — interesting items that children will have seen before. Eg. rope, kitchen tongs, hat, jug, game controller, wig, big glasses etc etc.
• Put all the objects into the box and cover it up. You need enough items for each child to have something different.
• Divide the children into sets of 3-5 people.
• Get the first group to stand up in front and take something out of the box without looking.
• Whatever they get they need to think of as their ‘best thing ever’.
• They must then tell the group and show how their object is used and explain why they like it so much.

If a child freezes, don't let them stand in embarrassed silence, pass the object to the next person and give another chance at the end.

Start with a fairly confident child and their success will encourage others to have a go.

Extension Tasks/Adaptations:
Encourage the children to think laterally -the rope could have been used to capture robbers, the hat could have once belonged to their Granddad and been worn when he met the Queen.

Another idea is to make the object pulled out by the first child in the group, one to be passed to the remaining children who will each take a turn to say why it is their best thing. Each explanation must be different from the preceding ones.

Once they’ve finished get the next child up to choose a prop and start again.

Activity 4 - Tongue Twister

Aim: To see a Tongue Twister and try to say it.

Write or print out one or more of the tongue twisters below on a large sheet (A3 or larger).
• She sells sea shells on the sea shore.
• On Friday Frank fries freshly fried, flying fish.
• Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

• This can be done in a circle or sitting in chairs in a line so that the children cannot see each other. This may limit the amount of giggling and silliness.
• The children in turn try to say the first tongue twister. If they get it right they move on to the second and then the third.
• Could there be a prize for the child who can say them correctly in the fastest time?

This can be used as a short ice breaker game and just get the children to warm up a little.

For full details see the BB Anchors Pro Pack M2-8


  • anchors
  • mind
  • word games

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