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A New Twist on a Classic Game Offers A New Way to Teach & Learn at Home

By Kristie Popa

Do you have:

-Spare time

-Kids at home

-Kids tired of doing school work

-A love for letters and making words

-A need for a new way to quiz kids on different topics or practice spelling & sight words

If you have a scrabble board and answered yes to any of the questions above, it is time to CELEBRATE National Scrabble Day.

National Scrabble Day is celebrated on April 15th each year. This game is played around the world, typically with 2-4 players and was trademarked in 1948. This game is made in 29 different languages and consists of 100 playing tiles.

So, take a break from the school work and/or use some of your spare time to enjoy a game of scrabble with your family. Not only is this a great way to practice spelling and vocabulary but it is also a great way to build important 4-H life skills. Use some of the ideas below and youth will gain the ability to work as a team, to think critically, to plan and organize their thoughts and letters to create words and more.

Here are some new Scrabble ideas for you to try:

  • Play 4-H SCRABBLE – only use words that relate to 4-H (hint: life skills wheel, pledge, projects etc.)
  • Allow children to use a children’s book (on their level), dictionary, pest spelling list, or sight words to find words to make on the Scrabble board.
  • Play Quizzify – play in teams of 2 and have a quizmaster. The quizmaster asks a trivia question (use this as a chance to review science, math, spelling or history questions). If you answer the question correctly without the help of your team member, you get to play a word. Spell QUIZZIFY and win the match automatically.
  • Create words using only nouns, only verbs or only adjectives (to practices parts of speech)
  • Play in teams (2 heads are better than one)
  • Teach children to score words using expanded addition or a combination of multiplication and addition. Practice doing the math with pencil and paper and check with a calculator.
  • Play “Speed Scrabble” for more advanced spellers.
  • Play “Fours,” only 4 tiles can be used at one time but you can make words any length. For example, someone made the word book. Use your 4 tiles to add shelf and you now have the word bookshelf.
  • Play “You Follow Me.” Each word must follow the previous word. For example, someone just played the word extra. The next word must start with the letter A. This continues until there is not enough room to create a new word, at which time a new “train” is started.

In the end, whether you won or loose, everyone has learned to manage many feelings during this game whether you were happy, sad, stumped or excited, I hope that you enjoyed celebrating National Scrabble Day 4-H style!

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