Monday, January 10, 2011

What Scrabble Can Teach Students

Teaching a World Language is often about building confidence in the language and showing students they CAN speak it. One day last week we had an "off" day. It was to mix things up a bit and to put away the computers. I pulled out some old Scrabble games and the kids created words from their vocabulary base. There was a host of unexpected conversations that took place.

1. What is that word?
2. Is this a word?
3. If I know ____, can I form ____?
4. What words start with/contain W?
5. How many vowels can I use in this word?
6. What was the ___ form of that verb?
7. others...

It was interesting to see some of the words they came up with during the game. There were also unexpected 21st Century Skills they were using in the process.

1. Creative problem solving - they didn't know what word to create or when there wasn't enough room to create the word. You can see one group just started building off the board. Another group put tiles upright to divide words that ran into each other. They also used what they already knew about the language to *ahem* create new words. Some were accurate; some were not, but they were manipulating the language nonetheless. SCORE!
2. Working as a team - if they didn't know what word to use, they would help each other out, not for personal gain, but for the gain of the group.
3. Leadership - They all took on a leadership role in the group at some point during the game. The stronger students helped the weaker students. Encouraging comments were given when a difficult word was accomplished.
4. Collaboration - some groups worked and counseled between groups to create words.
5. Self-directed learners - The teacher didn't have to be right there for them to create new words; they helped each other!

I think we'll do that again someday soon. :) Besides, we all had fun; that's what learning is all about!

No comments:

Post a Comment