Today I'm sharing a fun, relatively quick vocabulary game that helps students master a few of their trickier vocabulary words! The idea came to me when perusing official decks of Go Fish playing cards. There was a Garfield version, a Wilderness version, and I can imagine that there are many more versions on the market!
However, I’m not sure if there has been a vocabulary version of Go Fish... until now! Have students Go Fish for vocabulary words with my Go Fish Vocabulary Game.
Go Fish Vocabulary Game Rules*:
- Create cards with ten or twenty words that students don’t know well.
Have students play in groups of two to four, dealing out seven cards each if there are two players, six cards for three players and five cards for four players.
Cards that are not dealt go into the draw pile in the center of the table.
Starting clockwise, the first student asks another student if s/he has a card. However, instead of simply asking for the card by naming the vocabulary word on it, the student has to ask for the card by providing the definition for the word. For example, if a student wants the word “astute,” s/he has to ask, “Do you have a word that means smart?”
If the asked student doesn’t have the specific card requested, s/he says “Go Fish for Vocab!” and the student requesting the card must select from the draw pile.
The first person to get five pairs wins, provided s/he can use the vocabulary words from each pair in one to three sentences. If s/he cannot, the round continues until another person gets five pairs.
To ensure your Go Fish Vocabulary Game works at any grade level, I've included two sets of Go Fish cards in my download. The first set of cards is for lower grade levels, and the second set is for upper grade levels.
Let me know how the game works out in your classroom. You can leave a comment or tweet me @vocabgal.
Common Core State Standards:
Language Standard 4. Determine of clarify the meaning of unknown words.
Language Standard 5. Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meaning.
Language Standard 6. Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge
*These are the rules as I’ve designed them but feel free to modify them as works best in your classroom.