Active Word Work

You know you're on to something when your students BEG to spell! Our family loves playing Bananagrams; think portable Scrabble in a bag, no gameboard necessary. What better word work practice, if it involves team building, running, and spelling?!
I happened to mention how fun large letter tiles would be to use with my class to my husband, and lo & behold, he went to Home Depot, bought plywood and cut them into 8" x 8" squares! My oldest daughter painted the letters; it was a family project!
 Banangrams Rules/How to Play:
1. Lay all the tiles face down in the middle of a large open space.
2. Each team picks up a certain number of tiles, depending on how many teams are participating: 2-4 teams, 21 tiles each, 5-6 teams, 15 tiles each; 7-8 teams, 11 tiles each.
3. Each team should have their own large, open space to lay their tiles face down. Once each team has laid all their tiles in the designated areas, any player should then start the game by yelling, “Split!”
4. Players can now turn their tiles over and begin to make words.
5. Words created must connect and intersect, just like they would in Scrabble or a crossword puzzle.
6. Once a team has used up all of his or her tiles, they yell, “Peel!” One player from each team must then run to the middle of the area to grab another tile.

7. Players can rearrange their tiles as often as they like.
8. If a  team has a tile that is difficult to place in a word, one player may yell, “Dump!” and put that tile back in the middle in exchange for 3 new tiles.
9. Once there are less tiles left in the center than there are players, the first player to place all of his or her letters yells, “Bananagrams!”
10. All other players should check this player’s words to ensure they are all legal (found in the dictionary). If all the words check out, this team is the winner!
To make your own set, you'll need 144 tiles:
2: J, K, Q, X, Z
3: B, C, F, H, M, P, V, W, Y
4: G
5: L
6: D, S, U
8: N
9: T, R
11: O
12: I
13: A

18: E 

Do you have any hands-on word work ideas? I'd love to learn about more!

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