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6th Grade Vocabulary Games

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Vocabulary is hugely valuable. It teaches reading, writing, and better self-expression. Help your sixth graders stay engaged as they learn vocabulary with these vocabulary game ideas.

6th Grade Vocabulary Games

Students in sixth grade have rapidly expanding vocabularies, but exactly how much they expand depends a lot on how students spend their time. By actively working on vocabulary, students can learn a lot more than they would otherwise. But learning vocabulary isn't always the most exciting pursuit. We can make it more fun and engaging by playing vocabulary games. Check out a few of these ideas.

Synonym Antonym Game

Have students either work in pairs or get into a group and stand in a circle. The first student says a vocabulary word that is at least seven letters long. The next student says a synonym for that word. The next student says an antonym for the word. Finally the fourth student says a new vocabulary word. This pattern continues until someone pauses for longer than five seconds, at which point they're knocked out and have to sit down. When only one player remains, that player is declared the winner.

Meanings and Examples

This game is similar to the synonym, antonym game, except with a different sequence. The first student says a vocabulary word, just like with the first game. However, in this game the next student gives the meaning of the word. Then the third student gives an example of that word used in a sentence. Just like the previous game, if a student pauses for longer than five seconds, they're knocked out of that round.

Crossword Art Competition

In this game, students must create an attractive design from vocabulary words they've either never used or rarely use. Students start by writing one word at the center of a piece of paper. Then they choose one of the letters in that word, and find another vocabulary word starting with that letter. (Students can use a dictionary to help them.) They then write that word up or down, extending out of the current word like a crossword puzzle.

They keep doing this with word after word, choosing carefully which letter to use, and which direction to extend the word, creating a pattern of letters on their sheet of paper. By changing direction often, they can create some interesting designs. Students can then vote for the most interesting design and elect a winner.

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