Apples to Apples
Speech and Language Game Companion
REVISION 4/24/17: Black and White Game Mats have been added for all vocabulary games for easy printing.
The amusing game Apples to Apples is a witty game designed to build vocabulary and critical thinking skills. This game companion was created to be used with students of all ages in general education classes, speech therapy, and special education.
The National Reading Panel, 2000 issued it’s report “Teaching Children to Read” in which it stated, “Vocabulary can be learned incidentally in the context of storybook reading or in listening to others. Learning words before reading a text also is helpful. Techniques such as task restructuring and repeated exposure (including having the student encounter words in various contexts) appear to enhance vocabulary development. In addition, substituting easy words for more difficult words can assist low-achieving students.”
Apples to Apples Speech and Language Game Companion provides colorful visuals and engaging graphic organizers with samples of each.
To Prepare the Game Mats:
Print the 8 different colored mats and laminate.
Use Red (Noun) and Green (Adjective) cards to play the 8 variations included in this packet.
Apples to Apples Game Variation Mats:
How ‘bout them Apples-This game is played in reverse when compared to other versions. The “judge” places three red cards on the mat. Students must think critically to negotiate their best answer, agree, and place only one green card that best describes all three noun cards.
Ex: If the red cards placed include: lightening, wearing glasses, and bats; then students must collaborate to determine the best possible adjective, such as “DARK.” This is a challenging game that requires perspective, verbal skills and problem-solving skills.
Rotten Apples-In this variation, the student “judge” places a red card on the mat then students look at the cards they hold in their hands and determine which three cards are least like the noun card. Category Exclusion tasks tend to be significantly more difficulty than inclusion tasks. This version may be more challenging to younger students. (ex: “A King is NOT Creepy, Bad, or Pretty”).
A Bad Apple in the Bunch-This categorizing game variation targets concept inclusion and exclusion, similarities and differences or “odd one out.” The “judge” places a red noun card on the mat, then students identify 2 items that describe the target noun PLUS one item that does not. (ex: Raccoons are dangerous, and dirty but are NOT slow.”).
An Apple a Day- This version targets sentence expansion skills or Mean Length of Utterance (MLU). Students are prompted to elaborate and combine ideas in order to increase sentence length and complexity. (ex: instead of, “Boys are silly. Boys are dirty, Boys are tall.” student combine their ideas, “Boys are silly, dirty and tall.”).
Polish the apples-This activity or game variation presents with challenges for students to work together to sort RED noun cards into one of four categories. Students work together to make these decisions and may even disagree or change their mind as they begin to sort word cards. Categories include: Person, place, things or animals, and event.
The Big Apple Race-Students place a green card on the mat and then takes between 1-2 minutes to rapidly name as many items as they can that associates with the green card. (ex: If the target green card is "Tasty," student may write the words: popcorn, chips, candy, pizza, etc.
Apple Slices- is a game variation with a Frayer Model mat created to target word association, definitions, visualization, and semantic features. Students choose a RED noun card, place it in the middle and work together or individually to develop rich vocabulary. A sample of a completed Frayer Model is included for instruction and modeling.
In Apple Pie Order-is a word work activity for GREEN Adjective Cards created to allow students to play with words, add prefixes and suffixes, use critical thinking, and judge accuracy of new words. Peers can give students a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” when evaluating the accuracy of new words. Other variations might include illustrations and written sentences to show how adding a prefix or suffix changes word meaning.
Download today and you are ready to go! Students will ask for this game again and again and you will find new opportunities to build vocabulary each and every time.