Word Challenge

I love to play thinking games with my students (especially when they don't really view it as thinking)!

Quite a few years ago (at least 15) I went to a make 'n take workshop, and whoever was running it had quite a few activities made from cardboard circles. For this particular activity, a hole had to be made in the center of the circle, and a shoestring was secured to the bottom of the circle and threaded through the hole. The circle was divided into 32 sections, and each section was labeled with a letter of the alphabet (using some letters, like vowels, twice). As you can see, the sections can be colored so the circle is more attractive:)
Yes, this is an OLD wheel!!
The rules of the game were conveniently written on the back (otherwise I might have forgotten them!) Here they are:

1. Divide into 2 teams (sometimes I divide the class into 3 or 4 teams)
2. Spin the wheel for Team 1 (hold onto the shoestring and spin wheel).
3.  A member of Team 1 stops the wheel with thumb and forefinger (so the thumb lands on only one letter).
4. The team must think of a word using that letter, in order to earn 1 point (they have 10 seconds to think of the word...I don't let them use proper nouns).
5. The team may spin again. They must use the new letter and the previous letter in a word, to earn a total of 2 points. If they think of a word within 20 seconds, their point total is 2. If they can't think of a word, they go back to 0 points and the next team gets a turn.
6. If Team 1 gets to 2 points, they may choose to spin again to earn 3 points (using all 3 letters in a word in 30 seconds), then 4 points, (using all 4 letters in a word in 40 seconds) and so on. If, on any turn, the team can't think of a word, they lose ALL points, and play goes to the other team.
7. The first team to reach 6 points wins.....(doesn't sound hard to the kids, but once they get to 4 letters, they often end up losing their points. It's tough to get to 6 points because of the combination of letters they end up with.)
8. The time limit is 10 seconds per letter, so as a team attempts to earn more points, the time limit increases. (3 letters = 30 seconds, 4 letters = 40 seconds, etc.)

Students really do enjoy this game and work hard to think of's FUN thinking!

Watch the video to check out how to make the wheel and play the game!
Click to watch on YouTube

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