Often, children with dyslexia have difficulty in bringing a specific word to mind (called rapid naming). The more you play with words and vocabulary, the more confident children will become with the words they use.
There are many grammar rules to learn and remember in KS2 now. These games can help to reinforce grammar learned at school.
Give children a list of adjectives and a selection of different pictures.
Select a picture (e.g. of a haunted house) and then go through the list of adjectives, deciding if they are applicable to the picture or not. Certain words will generate a lot of discussion!
Repeat this with a completely different picture (e.g. a tropical beach).
A list of adjectives can be downloaded here.
This game also works really well with familiar characters from a book or a film.
Pairs in Pears Challenge
Pairs in Pears is a game available from shops and online.
Rather than play the original game, you can spread out the tiles and then use these challenge cards to create interlocking words.
Synonyms and Antonyms
This downloadable board game is easy to play. Just roll a die, and whichever word you land on try to think of a synonym or antonym for that word!
If children find this hard, create a word bank which they can look at if they are stuck.
The aim of this game is to name something from each category beginning with a given letter.
To choose a letter of the alphabet:
Go through the alphabet in your head. Your partner says 'STOP' and you use whichever letter you landed on.
Cut out these alphabet cards and pick one out of a hat
Use the die from Scattegories
Here are some child friendly lists to use.
Give each player a list, and then set a timer (between one and two minutes). Players fill in as many answers as they can.
2 points for an answer no-one else got.
1 point for an answer which is the same as someone else.
This is a good game and different versions are available online depending upon your child's interests.
It is great foemerging readers, as an adult can read the card and then the children have to find the relevant pictures from the large grid.
Who am I?
Play Who am I? by sticking a post it note to your forehead. You then ask yes/no questions to try to discover what your word says.
You can focus this by using specific vocabulary lists such as:
things in the ocean
or whatever else you may want to practise.
Like alphabet categories, the aim of this game is to name something from each category beginning with a given letter.
Choose a letter in the same way and select an appropriate time limit.
Give everyone playing the same grid. Fill in the grid using that letter of the alphabet.
Points are scored as follows:
1 point per word
1 bonus point for three in a row. This could lead to 8 bonus points if the whole grid is completed.
You could adapt this game by reducing the letters of the alphabet and having answers available, so the child is categorising answers rather than thinking of them.
Connect 4 Synonyms
Choose around 5 over-used words, and fill in a 5 x 5 grid using those words at random.
Then, for each of the words, create a set of cards using synonyms of those words. Put these synonyms into a pile, pick one and then put it over the word which means the same.
For example, if I picked 'difficult' I would place this on top of 'hard' in my grid.
First person to get four in a row wins.
Version 1 - small, big, bad, nice, hard
Version 2 - quiet, loud, fast, slow, angry
More coming soon!
This family board game is great for rapid naming.
Some children might find the timer to be too quick, which will be demotivating, so just play without the timer or use your phone to create a longer period for answering.
Children love mad libs.
You can buy a kids' version, which gives lists of nouns, verbs, adjectives and 'miscellaneous' suitable for each story.
When children are ready to progress, the older children's version simply says 'verb' or 'plural noun.' This provides a fun over-learning opportunity, as you will be repeating the definitions of each word class many times. You can also provide examples to support children's thinking.
There are also online versions, where you type in your words and then it automatically creates your story.