I am always looking for ways to engage my older students, and games seem to be just the right thing for them. One game all my students seem to love is Word Yahtzee! It is fun to play and can be customized to meet the unique phonics needs of each student. I have a standard score card that I use with many of my students that includes different syllable types, such as closed and open syllables, words with Magic-E, and even Diphthongs. I have another score card that is blank that I fill in if I want to emphasize a certain skill. For that board, I sometimes fill in troublesome concepts such as: words ending in B, words beginning in D, words with shout E, or whatever the student needs.
To play the game, you will need a Word Yahtzee score card and 6 blocks or dice printed. I use 4 dice printed with consonants and 2 dice printed with vowels – this seems to allow the most options for word building as you can incorporate vowel teams, diphthongs, and Magic-E quite easily. If you don’t have letter dice, you can make them from small foam or wooden blocks available at many craft stores.
Each person gets a score card and decides who goes first. The first player rolls all 6 dice and then tries to come up with a word that fits one of the categories on the score card. Once s/he has decided on the word s/he wants to use, the score is recorded on the score card. The next player rolls the dice, tries to make a word, and records his/her score. Play continues in this manner. If a player rolls the dice and either cannot make any words or cannot make a word in an open category (you can only use each category once), s/he must record a score of zero in one of the open categories. Once all of the categories have been filled (either with a zero or with the points earned for spelling a word), the scores are totaled and a winner is declared.
Free Printable Word Yahtzee Score Card: WORD YAHTZEE
Tammi Brandon, M.Ed., CDP
Tammi Brandon is a Master Instructor and Education Consultant with Brainspring Educator Academy.
For more information on Brainspring Educator Academy, visit us at http://www.brainspring.com.