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Make-a-Word Card Game
Many words can be broken down into three parts—a prefix, root word, and suffix. For example, incredible. There’s in (the prefix) + cred (the root word that means believe) + ible (the suffix). This game teaches children how these word parts come together to make familiar words.
- The Make-a-Word Game Cards and the Make-a-Word Game Chart are both included as part of this printout. Print them and cut out the cards. Cut out the cards. You might want to tape them to index cards or construction paper. This will make for easier playing and will also ensure the writing can’t be read from the other side of the card.
- Like similar card games, the idea is to lay down groups of cards. But instead of laying down traditional combinations (such as three of a kind), in this game, players aim to lay down three cards that form a word. For example, a child who has the cards “pro,” “ject,” and “ion” can lay down the word “projection.” See the chart, which players should keep handy during the game, for definitions of the prefixes, root words, and suffixes.
- Choose a dealer. The dealer gives each player five cards. Set the remaining deck on the table face down, so players can draw from it on each turn.
- To start the game, flip one card over from the deck. Each player can either: a) build on that card to make a word, b) ignore the card and make a word from cards already in their hand, or c) do nothing except discard one card, either from their hand or by not taking the flipped card from the deck.
- A player’s turn continues until he or she can make no more words. Players should have five cards in their hands at all time. So if a player puts cards down to make a word, he or she needs to take new cards.
- The player who makes the most words wins!
Add difficulty to the game with definition bonus points. After a player has spelled a word with cards, he or she gets 1 bonus point for being able to give the definition. Keep a dictionary handy for checking the definition. Dealer keeps track of bonus points.
Dig deeper into root words. When children understand common root words, they can take good guesses at what unfamiliar words mean. Look up any word in the Online Etymology Dictionary.