" Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation."- Noam Chomsky
When working with words, there are lots of different possibilities. Challenging students to work in a collaborative way is also motivating. One activity that students enjoyed is finding words written on a 3 metre-tape. It's just another way of engaging them in being familiarised with spelling, from a postion that is not the typical chair-desk. All you need is a masking tape, space to put it on the floor, and a marker to previously prepare the activity.
2. Word board games
Boards in class are of great use. They give students a sense of control and in a way it implies changing positions with the teacher who normally has control over the white board.
The main advantage for such activities is that everyone can participate, taking turns, and
collaborating. The first activity on the left is a list of words written in a scrambled way. Students need to put the letters in order so that correct words are being formed. The activity on the right is a typical wordsearch.
3. Story creation
This is an activity that needs more time and guidance. It's basically creating a story, using sentences that have been previously cut into pieces. The idea is to create a continuum that makes sense and can be read in the end. We've used King Arthur's story. When finished, each student had a mini book and they were proud to read it.
4. Sentence word bingo
Bingo is a popular game that can be played not only with numbers. Actually words are a fantastic way to be used as there are endless posibilities and students just love if they have the opportunity to play. For this activity each student had a 3X3 grid with three different sentences. With other groups these sentences can be created by students themsleves. All the words used are faced down in front of the teacher.
5. Boggle or wordshake
Boggle is another popular word game which is played using a plastic grid of lettered dice, in which players attempt to find words in sequences of adjacent letters. And if you have acces to computers and internet, www.britishcouncilkids.org has got a fantastic word game called wordshake.