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Friday, June 2, 2017

3 New Vocabulary Games using Apples to Apples

vocabulary gamesApples to Apples is a FUN word game of matching adjective cards (green cards) to noun cards (red cards). The winner is the player with the most matches.  Speech-language pathologists are known for being creative with materials and adapting what we have to meet our students' needs. Apples to Apples can be adapted to address target goals in articulation, language, fluency and social skills. 
For months, this game sat in my closet untouched. My students were not successful playing this game as it was originally designed and I knew it needed to be adapted. I especially wanted to add visual support to target semantic features and language flexibility in a way my students would be successful. 

In this post, I am going to teach you how to play 3 of my favorite fast and fun games using Apples to Apples to target academic and functional vocabulary skills.

For each of the games, I typically control one set of cards which could be either the NOUN or the ADJECTIVE cards in order to structure and differentiate the games.  I select specific cards for each student based on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP), such as: speech sound, word classes, syllable structure and difficulty of text and complexity of vocabulary.  My game template only allows for 4 total players, but if more players are involved, they can easily be set in teams or a moderator can facilitate the conversation and timer. 

Below are 3 fabulous and fast paced games, my students enjoy playing using Apples to Apples.

1. Using Adjectives to Describe Nouns

game companion
In this first game, students are given 5 green adjective cards and I control the red noun cards. Students can lay their cards out on the table in order to see their answer choices or ask a friend to help. Cooperative partners in this game can help students with the reading, ordering the cards by preferences, providing definitions and examples of target words, and using verbal problem-solving to pick only one of their cards that best describes the noun.

To play the game, I lay down a noun card such as "birthday parties" and students choose an adjective card to lay down that describes birthday parties, such as: "loud, awesome," and "colorful." If you wanted to expand on student answers, you could ask them to give an example or explain why they chose that card. This game moves fast and you have ample opportunity to target many different noun types (people, places, animals, events).

2. Odd-One-Out (Category Inclusion and Exclusion)

This is a great game that you can play several rounds of. In this second game, I lay down a red noun card and students look at their green cards. Students lay down two adjectives that describe the noun and one that does not.  Students can take turns being the "odd-one-out" by providing the exclusion card. For example, If I lay down "Watermelon," students may choose, "wet" and "soft" as describing adjectives, while the "odd-one-out" may choose to place "hot" as the adjectives that DOES NOT describe the noun. This game creates opportunities to demonstrate flexible thinking and problem-solving skills.

3. Finding Noun Similarities (Convergent Naming)

In this third game, I switch roles and become the owner of the green adjective cards and students are given 5 red noun cards. I strategically lay down one adjective card, and students look through their noun cards and choose one that fits that description. For example, if I lay down the adjective "frightening," student can choose nouns such as, "Halloween, First Day of School," and "hippopotamus." I especially like this game as it allows students the opportunity to rank the nouns or put them in order. Which is more frightening, "The First Day of School or Halloween?" Again, you could have students explain their thinking and the reasons for their answers. Other students in the group can agree or disagree. By expanding the game, I allow students the opportunity to share their experiences, make personal connections, and respectfully agree or disagree with each other.

In this post, I've given you three different fun and fast vocabulary games with Apples to Apples. 

Click on any image in this post to go directly to my TOT store. There are so many creative and different ways to adapt this game and target vocabulary skills with students in speech therapy. I also recommend these vocabulary games as a Response to Intervention (RtI) tool for struggling readers with weak vocabulary skills. 

Read the comments below to find out what buyers are saying about my "Apples to Apples Speech and Language Game Companion", then click the image to view these games and download more vocabulary intervention games for this FUN-TASTIC group game.

I've attached  Amazon Affiliate links to different versions of this game below. As an affiliate, any purchase made through the link may provide a small profit for My Speech Tools.  

Do you already own this game? Which version is your favorite?  Send me an email, I'd love to hear how you've adapted this game for your speech and language students.

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Lisa, SLP

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