Subject: Language Arts
Description: This activity is adapted from a Japanese card game called "karuta". It is played as a fast-paced review game to reinforce the recognition of words and their meanings. I have used it for teaching Latin word roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Understanding Latin root words helps students to decode the meanings of words.
Objective: The students will identify word roots, prefixes, suffixes and match the words to their meanings.
Standards: South Carolina Curriculum Standards, Word Study and Analysis
3-R3.2, 3-R3.3, 3-R3.7, 4-R3.2, 4-R3.3
Materials: Set of word cards (prepared beforehand), table (large enough to spread all the cards)
1. If you have a small class (10-12 students), divide the class in half. If your class is larger, divide it into teams of 4 or 5 students.
2. Spread the cards out onto the table with the words face up. (The cards should be mixed up and scattered around.) Instruct the teams to line up in single file around the table like spokes protruding from the hub of a wheel. The first person in each team will place their hands on the tops of their heads.
3. When they are ready, the teacher calls out the definition of the word to be identified. Team members may not shout out answers to the playing team member. The playing members must work to be the first person to correctly identify the matching word card by slapping the card and then saying the word. If that player is correct, the team gets the point. If it is not the correct word, the remaining players get a chance to find the correct word. If each player does not correctly identify the word, the play continues with the next set of team players and a new word definition. Each time a card is identified correctly, the card is removed and given to the team who won that round.
4. Cards or points are counted when all the cards have been removed. Play can continue by spreading the cards again.
Assessment: Teacher will observe and make notes of student responses.
1. Students can play this in groups of 3 or more with each group having their own set of cards. They play as individuals instead of playing against other teams. The students take turns within their group as the card caller.
2. This game can also be used for other vocabulary reinforcement such as spelling. When a student identifies the card that is called, the student keeps the word covered with her/his hand, and must spell the word to get the point.
3. Call out the word card and have the students find the card and give the definition.
4. For root words, prefixes or suffixes, have the students give a vocabulary word that uses the given root, prefix or suffix, and also give the meaning of the word.