Word Games

Games to encourage word-recognition and word-finding:

1. Description activities

Encouraging the pupil to use non-verbal means to convey the word, e.g. gesture/sign. They could describe an object that they could not name, for example with a Feely Bag, describing what they felt, without looking in the bag, and guessing what the object is.

2. Barrier games

One person describes a picture or object that their partner cannot see. Partner tries to guess the name of the object or picture. They may require cueing in with the first sound or syllable e.g. ‘It’s a ba…banana’.

3. Classification of objects or pictures

  • e.g. On the basis of same/different colour, size, shape, function.

4. Matching games (visual)

  • e.g. Picture or symbol lotto; Photo or picture or symbol dominoes; Snap!; Word-searches.

5. Matching games (auditory)

  • e.g. Listen for the category! Read out a wordlist; partner signals when they hear a word from the target category (animals, clothing, food etc).
  • e.g. Nonsense Sentences. Spot the silly word.
  • e.g. I spoke to my mum on the television. I woke up in the night because I saw a loud noise.

6. Association games

  • e.g. Visual games such as Pair It! Things that go together. Odd-one-out.
  • e.g. Word-association games such as Crosswords; Fill-in-the-blank; Word strings (e.g. football-shirt-socks-shoes-feet-hands etc); Odd-one-out.
  • e.g. Opposites (e.g. hot/cold; high/low; empty/ full etc)
  • e.g. Words that mean the same (e.g. cold, freezing, chilly etc.)

7. Closure tasks

Use a build up sentence but let the pupil ‘close’ it by saying the last word: e.g. ‘You’d like a drink of…’ or ‘You need to go to the…’

8. Add to the list word games

Use objects or pictures to help memory. e.g. I went shopping for…

9. Topic web

Brainstorm a topic. How many animals, colours, foods, sports etc., can we think of? Use the web to organise vocabulary into associated categories e.g. animals, farm animals, wild animals, pets).

10. Quiz games

  • e.g. I spy; Riddles.

11. Music and drama

  • e.g. Mood music - how does the music make you feel? Mime and guess games.

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Last updated: 28 October 2015

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