Silly Shorts: A Speaking Practice Board Game

The Gaming Grammarian
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Not Grade Specific
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6 pages
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  1. My students are always looking for more speaking practice. This bundle includes many of my students' favorite games that require a decent amount of speaking to play. Most of the games can be scaffolded up or down, depending on students' proficiency levels, simply by adjusting the amount of time they
    Price $16.00Original Price $20.00Save $4.00


In an effort to get my students speaking a bit more I started experimenting with different games and activities. Silly Shorts is the board game that had the best results. There are two ways to play: with spinners or with dice.

To use spinners, you can use the enclosed premade templates to print onto CD labels and stick on old CDs. The new CD spinners can then be spun on spinner towers (free directions for building are included in the download) or by whatever means you choose.

If you choose to use dice, you’ll need at least one twelve-sided die (I recommend using three—one for each category, or students will have to roll three times per turn) per group of students. The game can be played using two six-sided dice per group, but that gets more complicated. The dice roll (or rolls, if you’re only using one die per group), can be checked using the enclosed category reference cards.

Both methods require a six-sided die to determine how many places a player will move and something to use as playing pieces (milk jug lids, counters, and mini-erasers are all popular choices in my classes).

When playing with beginners, I require them to use the three starting values (character, setting, object) to compose a single sentence. As the proficiency level of my students increases, I increase the required length of speaking up to 30 second stories for advanced learners.

To play:

1.Determine your three starting values (character, setting, object) by spinning or rolling.

2.Use the three starting values to compose a sentence or short story, the sillier the better.

3.If you sentence or story is grammatically correct and of appropriate length, roll the six-sided die and move your playing piece the indicated number of spaces.

The first player to reach finish is the winner.

A digital version of this game is also available.

Read more about this game and how I use it in the blog post Game Smashing: Silly Shorts.

Total Pages
6 pages
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.


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