Winter Word and Game Time
The winter can be a time of fun, but you still need to get work accomplished. You will be assessing goals throughout the year and sometimes mixing games to practice the sounds, phrases, pragmatics, or grammar are helpful. Things outside of the box with traditional matching games, concentration, Where’s Waldo items, and add in some extra pizzazz.
Matching Game with a Twist
Card games are a great way to work on articulation and vocabulary during a session. As new sounds are being added, create lists of words that can be grouped together for a concentration style game. You will need pairs of words with pictures. On the other side of the card, use a universal picture like a snowflake, snowman, or sled. Make a concentration or memory style game by laminating the cards to use in the group.
When starting the game, shuffle them together and place them face down on the table. The student will turn over two cards. Have them state something like, “I found a ___ and ___” if they are not a match. If they find a match, ask them to use the word in a sentence. This continues back and force practicing the words and taking turns. Look at goals and practice with sounds, combinations, or phrases that are being practiced by the child.
I Spy Winter Items Game
Gather winter photos, books, or items from magazines. If the photos or pictures from books have a lot of items in them, use them to play an I Spy or Where’s Waldo style game. Another option is to make a collage of pictures with words that are being targeted within sessions. Use newspaper ads, magazines, and other items to select items that children will recognize. This pictorial scavenger hunt can be utilized in a lot of way. For older children, you can ask them to find words that begin with a sound. Clues can be given to help them find the item you are looking for. They can ask, “Is it a ___ you are searching for?”
Another variation would be to have rhyming word pairs within a drawing. You can show them a card with a word and ask them to locate the rhyming object in the picture. Prompt them with “I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with ___.” When they find it, they can tell you and you can continue on with the activity. If they are having trouble finding it, add in a hot/cold guessing twist. Have the child ask you if it is near where they point. If they are close let them know. This encourages confidence, not giving up, and practicing asking questions.
Either of these games can be altered to work on a variety of goals that a child may be working toward. Nothing has to be done a certain way and most of the cards and pictures could be used again for an additional activity. Think ahead and make an extra set to send home for families to practice. Send home a letter letting the family know how to use them and ask them to write the words from the multilingual homes onto it. This will help to let the children remember the translations and show pride in their knowledge of another language.