Thursday, November 7, 2013

Border Search {Vocabulary Game}

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One of the hard parts of language learning is the sheer amount of vocabulary a person needs to memorize.  I use conversation and games to help with the memorization of all the words.  One game that works well is a variation of Memory called Border Search.  I created a board using a file folder.  Around the edge of the folder I created boxes and put a number sticker in each one.  The size of the boxes doesn't matter too much.  You just need to make sure they aren't so small that you can't fit the cards you are using in them.

I then make the playing cards.  The students have to match the word with the picture.  {See below.} So for each vocabulary word I make a card with the word on it and a card with a picture.  I normally cut index cards to fit the size of the boxes (more or less) on the board.  You will need more cards than boxes.  So, for example, my board has 22 boxes.  So I use enough vocabulary to have at least 40 cards (which means 20 vocab words). Square punches are an awesome way to make the small cards.

Here's how you play:  

-Shuffle the cards.

-Place the cards face down, one in each box.  The extra cards go in the center of the board.

-The first player picks up two cards.  If they match they get to keep them.  I give them points for the two cards that they picked up.  They are required in Spanish to give me their total based on the numbers in the boxes they got the cards from.  If they had a card on a "6" and another on a "4".  Then they would get ten points.

-If they don't have a match then just put the cards back where they were.

-Every time a person gets a match you add two more cards to the empty spaces. You continue to do this until you run out of cards.

-The person with the most points (after all the cards have been collected) wins.

As you can see this is a more challenging game of Memory because for awhile the board is constantly changing.  Also, the goal isn't to get the most matches, but to get the most points.  I have found that older students prefer this version to regular Memory.

This game can work for any subject.  For example, you could use it in history, matching dates with events.  Or you could use it to practice definitions in biology, matching vocabulary with a definition. The possibilities are endless!

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