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Subject: Recommend me a word game for the classroom rss

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Eric Etkin
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Howdy!

My wife is a high school English teacher, and she's looking for some word-based games for the classroom/studyhall. She's mostly a blank slate when it comes to hobby/niche games, so I have a good opportunity here to introduce something less mainstream into her BG life.

IMO, the sweet spot should probably hit all or most of the following:

1) Play time 30 minutes or less
2) Favors skill over luck
3) Accommodates a wide range of vocab levels

Bonus is if it can be played with more than 2 players, or also as solo.

I'm currently aware of Bananagrams, but we'd also be looking for something that's not a clone or contains similar mechanics. Maybe a co-op?
 
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Walt
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Grade level?

Most word games I think of can be played as co-ops or teams. (Scrabble, boggle, upwords.)
 
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Dice bags!
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Durable plastic parts, can do shorter or longer words, can call the words out or write them on paper. Can do first word (race) or most words (list).
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Matt Powers
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Apples to Apples is the best word card game I've come across in teaching. It encourages creativity, as well. One of my favorite games to play, because I didn't need to buy it, is Jotto. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jotto
 
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Clare Marie
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Word on the Street - put the kids into two teams
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PDQ and Wordplay. Both are "real time" games that play in under ten minutes. Players with better vocabularies will crush the others, but it shouldn't be difficult to put in a handicap system.

Also: LetterRoll.
 
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Hoyle A
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Absolutely, positively You've Been Sentenced! is the game you want. Ignore the low heavy-strategy-game skewed ranking here. I wrote a four paragraph reply to this, which got eaten by internet problems, so what follows is more terse that I'd intended:

Teachable in 30 seconds "quickly make a sentence with your cards, try to use more valuable words and use as many cards as you can"
Cheap and available ($20 amazon)
No worry of losing a few cards
Rotating a card reveals words of different difficulties, so they are self scaling.
Good play requires complex sentences with tricky grammar, but it's not hard to score points.
Has expansions for difficulty and theme variations
plays 1-10+
Rounds take a few minutes. Usually played to a cumulative score, but can be played as sets or just once.
Lots of fun, with some silliness.
requires social interaction to justify the legality of your sentence...
I once made my english teacher wife explain to me why "Carl Jung kept deeply mean ducks," specifically what had caused them to be mean on a level discernibly deep. Sentences have to be grammatically correct and make SOME sense. Ducks may wear boots, but boots may not wear ducks.
PDF of the rules: http://www.mcneilldesigns.com/pdf/rules-youve-been-sentenced...
Word on the Street is great too, but YBS is more educational. Get both, they teach different aspects of language.
 
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George Buss
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Definitely have a look at Out of the Box Publishing published games...

They've got a couple that are great...

And depending on what skills she wants to build, she may look into
Dixit - Storytelling
Scrabble - Spelling
Balderdash - Definitions
etc...
 
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Prolix for vocabulary, can be adapted with handicaps, also requires spelling.

Word on the Street Junior vs Word on the Street depends on age.

You've Been Sentenced! has a reasonably up-yo-date pop culture add-on.

NB: Apples to Apples? Not a pure word game IMO. Requires knowledge of history, science, culture as well. Apples to Apples Junior or Apples to Apples Kids might work.
 
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Jerry Wilkinson
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tankgrlnz wrote:
Word on the Street - put the kids into two teams


+1
 
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Alberto Casarrubios
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These are the ones I use the most:

- Dixit(great for all levels: the lowest ones just describe the pictures with a word or a sentence, higher levels get to discuss their favourites).

- Bohnanza(a blast for teaching conditionals: write some key sentences on the blackboard and make the kids use them to trade).

- Attribute(adjective vocabulary learning).

- Such a Thing (some unusual vocabulary that rarely shows up during a normal class).

- Aye, Dark Overlord! (for higher levels, conversation practice).

- Once Upon a Time (storytelling).
 
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James Fehr
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A couple of other great ones that I've enjoyed are:

- Pass the Bomb: This can work out of the box for any number of players. It's a kind of hot potato trying to think of words that include some kind of letter combination. Some of the challenges will be hard, but some will be easy.

- Word Jam: This can work for 12 players out of the box, but by printing up some extra voting cards, could work for more. It may have my vote as the most underrated word game out there. I'm not sure why more people don't know about this one.
 
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Eric Etkin
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THANK YOU, everyone!

I haven't had time to check in in a couple days, but I'll go through these and pitch to the Mrs.

We also saw Quiddler yesterday at Toys R Us... it looked like it might also hit the marks, but after reading some reviews here on the BGG, I'm now not so sure...

Anyhow, as usual I appreciate the help!
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Bob Christie
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I'll second "You've Been Sentenced". Also, I purchased "Literati" at Barnes and Noble. Great vocab builder and states on box that it contains SAT words. You get a short list of words and must (while timed) build sentences using those words.
 
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Eric Etkin
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Excellent. Thank you!

After going into some of the thoughtful recommendations, I'm leaning towards YBS. Some of the other games suggested look fun, but as gametime may or may not involve teams or the ability to be loudly vocal, some of these won't quite work. I'd also prefer a game where there's no referee or "special" player.

I'd also love to suggest a storytelling game or something that encourages creativity. Are there any games that have a relatively solid ruleset (ie. something concrete that doesn't allow many disputes), but also rewards creativity over point-building? For example, Aye, Dark Overlord is too loosey-goosey, and also requires a referee.

I'm thinking of something simple, maybe where there's images or words to play, and everyone constructs a story as a team... No points involved, no referee to judge things, etc. Something that possibly also delineates cards used for plotting concepts like "rising action, "climax," etc.
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Manuel Pasi
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This is a huge success in class rooms:

Rory's Story Cubes and Rory's Story Cubes: Actions
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Hoyle A
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YBS is the right choice, as I mentioned before.

Also +1 for Rory's Story Cubes, which is pure creativity, though might be too young for HS kids. It's only $8 though.. Roll some dice, tell a story describing the dice. It's good to spark a creative writing exercise. You may need to come up with a variant to make it more interesting.
 
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David H
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Jrtolf wrote:
tankgrlnz wrote:
Word on the Street - put the kids into two teams


+1


+2

And a serious thumbs down for the "apples to apples" recommendation. Barely a word game at all, unless we are talking about very young grades with horrifically stunted vocabularies. Well, if we must quibble, it is not even a game to begin with, but if one were delusional enough to think that it was a game, it still would not be a good "word" game.
 
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Monica Elida Forssell
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Kaleidos, perhaps?
 
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I like Train of Thought - it may be a bit challenging, but in a classroom setting, that may be a good thing
 
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