This game was originally designed for school based SLPs, but can be played at home as a vocab building game.
Check out the youtube tutorial at:
Note: This game requires a group of at least two students…
Step 1: Clinician and students list synonyms for the stimuli word.
Good: excellent, amazing, wonderful, marvelous, splendid, terrific….
Step 2: Clinician and students practice these words
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 for other vocabulary words until at least 5 synonym lists are generated.
Pain: anguish, suffering, agony, discomfort….
Peaceful: harmonious, serene, tranquil, nonviolent…
Cover additional vocabulary words by listing synonyms…
Step 4: After students demonstrate a familiarity with the synonym meanings and groupings, clinician introduces the Vocabulary Gin Game.
Goal of the game: Students will identify words that have similar meanings by collecting words that fall into the same synonym group and discard the words that do not fit into that synonym group.
Game rules: A deck of word cards is placed on the table. Each card has only one word written on it. Each word is from various synonym categories. Students receive 6 cards each. They should always have ONLY 6 cards in their hands at all times.
For example, their hand of 6 cards might be: excellent, awful, upset, amazing, wonderful and afraid.
Students then identify which words from their hand belong to the same synonym group.
For example: excellent, amazing and wonderful are all synonyms for the word GOOD. Awful, upset and afraid are not from the same category group
Students hold onto the cards that belong to the same synonym group keeping in mind that they can discard the other cards that do not belong to that group.
One student picks one card from the deck. She decides whether that word belongs to the original synonym group. If the word on the card is a synonym for the same group, she holds onto the card. She then discards one card from her hand that she no longer needs.
For example: she picked up the word marvelous and decided to keep it since it is another word for GOOD. She threw out the card awful because it is not another word for GOOD, so she does not need it.
The second student has the choice of whether to pick up the word awful from the pile or to pick another word from the deck.
For example: the second student decides to pick up the word awful because he is trying to gather all the synonyms for the word BAD. He then throws out a card from his hand.
The third student repeats the steps of deciding whether to pick up the card that was just thrown out or to pick a card from the deck.
The first student who gathers 6 words from a common synonym group WINS.
For example, the student collects 6 words for GOOD: excellent, amazing, wonderful, marvelous, splendid and terrific. She is declared the winner.
Keep in mind:
Students may use the handout of synonym groups to check the accuracy of their choices while playing the game. This support should be faded as time and success progresses.
Students should be encouraged to use the words covered in Vocabulary Gin in their classes.