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Sell me a Word

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Mathematical Foundations

Mathematical Foundations,

Key Skills and Concepts

(+ Vocabulary and Spelling)

Topics Covered:
Mental Arithmetic
Tactics and Problem Solving
Use of Vocabulary
Spelling Practice
Checking answers

Equipment needed:
Copy of the image below on a screen of piece of paper
Pen and paper

This is an activity I have used with groups of children aimed at linking literacy and numeracy together in a simplified Scrabble like activity. It will help with spelling, vocabulary, adding up and understanding the value of different numbers.

Show the price list below and talk about which letters are worth more money than others.
Have a practice round by explaining that the people playing need to come up with any word they can think of (proper nouns (names of people/places) are not allowed). The word must be spelled correctly and then they can add up the total cost of their word based on the values shown on the image attached for each letter they used.
Check each other’s words looking for spelling mistakes or errors in adding up the final price. Explain that if a word is spelled incorrectly that they do not get any points at all.
Start the real game but announce a different category that each word must be taken from for the round.


Examples that could be used are as follows…

Round 1) Animals
Round 2) Fruit or vegetable
Round 3) A Sport
Round 4) A Verb
Round 5) An Adjective

Add up scores for each round and see how much money each person gets at the end of the game

Key Literacy Terms to try and use:
This is a great opportunity to reinforce or even introduce some key terms involved in English:
Proper Noun

Questions to Ask:
“Which letters are worth the most?”
“What should you think about when trying to come up with a really ‘good’ word?”
“Have you definitely added it up correctly?”
“Is your word definitely spelled correctly?”
"Are you sure your word is not a proper noun?”
“What is an adjective?”
“What is a verb?”

Add in some extra criteria to the scoring system. For older children I used a spreadsheet to generate random letters for each round that scored double or triple points. This made children think even more about which letters to try and include in their words.


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