Do you love playing classroom vocabulary games with your students? I LOVE it! I love using games to review our vocabulary words.
Games are a great way to help with vocabulary development. Here are three classroom vocabulary games you can use with any word list.
The one thing you want to remember though is that no one should be “out” during the game. This causes kids to check out which defeats the purpose of the game which is to review the words. In the directions for each of the games, I explain how to keep all kids “in” during the game.
Fun Vocabulary Game
I don’t have a name for this first classroom vocabulary game. So Fun Vocabulary Game is the best I could come up with. LOL! For the first game, you will need suction balls that you can find in the party section of places like Target.
Then write the synonyms and antonyms for your vocabulary words all over the board. Assign points to each word and write it near the word.
You’ll want to divide the class into teams. After you have your teams set, a player from the first team throws the ball at the board.
If they say the correct vocabulary word for the synonym or antonym they landed on, their team gets the points assigned to that word.
So that all students are engaged the whole time, I have every student write their answer on a dry-erase board. This prevents kids from getting bored and off task while they wait for others to answer.
Players from each team take turns throwing the ball and answering for points. The team with the most points wins!
Setting up Trashketball
Vocabulary Trashketball is another fun classroom vocabulary game. First, divide a piece of paper into halves or fourths.
On each fourth write a definition, synonym, antonym or sentence for one of the vocabulary words and place them in a stack upside down. Do that for all of the words.
If you only have 6 words like I usually do, make duplicates. Divide the class up into teams.
Set up a trash can and a throwing line. (I use a trash can from the dollar tree so that we can fish them out and reuse throughout the game.)
How to play Trashketball
The first player from a team gets a paper and reads what it says aloud. The player and everyone else in the class writes down the vocabulary word on a dry erase board or piece of paper.
This keeps the rest of the class engaged while their classmates figure out the answer.
If the player’s answer is correct their team gets one point. Then they crumble up the paper and get to throw it in the trash can for an extra point.
Play continues to the next team. At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins!
Setting up the Vocabulary Spoons
Vocabulary Spoons is one of our class’s favorites! The object of the game is to get 3 of a kind. You’ll need plastic spoons or large popsicle sticks.
To make the cards you can use card stock or index cards. You’ll want to have a card with the vocabulary word, a card with the word’s definition and a card with a picture or synonym. Since we only learn 6 words at a time, I duplicate all of the cards so that we have enough.
Make groups of 4 kids or more. (Having fewer kids on a team makes it harder to play.) Place one less spoon or popsicle stick than there are kids in the middle of the group. So if there are 5 kids in a group you’ll place 4 spoons in the middle.
Assign a dealer who will give each player 3 cards. Players can look at their cards but not show anyone. The dealer places the rest of the cards face down in a stack in front of them.
How to Play Vocabulary Spoons
The dealer takes a card from the stack and adds it to their hand. They have to decide which of the four cards they want to discard to the player on their right.
The player to the right then decides which card they want to discard to the player to their right. Play continues around the group until the last person before the dealer plays. The last person discards their card to the discard pile. Then the dealer gets a new card from the stack and play continues.
Once a player has 3 of a kind they take a spoon from the middle. Any player that sees them take the spoon also takes a spoon. One person is left without a spoon and they lose that round.
You can also make it where whoever gets three of a kind gets points or the last person left without a spoon loses points. But my class LOVES it without the complication of points so we just go with it.
Takes a little prep time because you need a set of cards for each group but you could save them for next year and have a quick game ready. Or you could have the kids make the cards for added vocabulary practice!
If you try any of these classroom vocabulary games I’d love to hear about it!
Do you want some free vocabulary resources that go with the book Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson? You can get them sent to you by clicking HERE. After you teach the words, try out one of the games for review in this post!