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A chance to expand vocabulary

One of the main purposes of putting up displays is to reinforce new vocabulary that is introduced with a topic. However, once the display is removed, the children tend to forget it.

We play Chance Your Vocabulary, a game which revises the words previously learnt, but with a chance element which the children love and which means that the least able are just as likely to be correct as the fast ones.

When you have taken down a display, put the key words into a bag with a dice. (Laminating the cards first means they can be reused many times.) To play the game, children roll the dice and choose a word from the bag without looking at it. A roll of one or two means read the word aloud correctly, three or four means define or explain it and five or six means hand it (without peeping) to another person to read aloud, then spell it, either orally or in writing. Playing regularly reminds children of what they have learnt.

A further bonus is that at the end of the year you have all the key words together, handy for revision. In key stage 1 and 2 the game can be used as a literacy-hour warm-up or a group activity with a classroom assistant, or to fill in odd moments. It could also be used in KS34 as a revision aid for technical vocabulary.

Year 4 teacher and science co-ordinator, Herries School, Windsor and Maidenhead

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