Chutes and Ladders in Literacy
I LOVE to play board games at home, but I also enjoying using them in my classroom. In addition to encouraging cooperation, turn taking and a variety of other social skills, I find I can often use the games to work on math and literacy skills. So, every Friday, I am going to post a Friday Game Night post, giving tips on how to use a particular board game in your classroom. Here’s this week’s Friday Game Night Tip:
Chutes and Ladders – Part 2
Who doesn’t like Chutes and Ladders (also called Snakes and Ladders)? It’s a classic game that is a part of most primary classroom and home game collections. It’s also a great way to work on both math and literacy skills. Last week, I talked about how to use Chutes and Ladders to work on math skills. This week, I have a list of ideas for using this game to work on literacy skills. Next week, we’ll take a look at how to use Yahtzee in different classrooms, but for now, how can we use Chutes and Ladders in the classroom?
1. Cause and Effect – On the game board for Chutes and Ladders, there is a picture story going on. For example, at the top of one of the “chutes” there is a little boy who has broken a mirror and at the bottom, there is the same boy pouring out the money from his piggy bank. These pictures cues would be a great way to talk about how one part of a story (the cause) makes another part of the story (the effect) to happen.
2. Write the Story – Another way to use the picture stories that are all over the Chutes and Ladders game board is to let the students create the stories that go with the pictures. What really happened? How did the mirror get broken? This entire board could work as a variety of story starters!
3. Spelling Words – Place sight words or spelling words on index cards. Have students draw a word and read or spell it before taking their turn in Chutes and Ladders. Then, the students can move how ever many letters there are in the word. Easy, simple review, with a game built in, and very little to create or manage!
4. Describe It! – Isn’t it funny how one person see something that can be so differently than another? To illustrate this for students, and to help them work on adjectives and writing descriptively, assign each child one of the “stories” on the Chutes and Ladders board. Have students write a description of their assigned story, using picture words, but no numbers. Then, have students read their descriptions aloud (or with other students let them read each others’ descriptions) and see if the others can guess which story they were assigned.
I hope some of these suggestions will allow you to use Chutes and Ladders in a new, interesting way in your classrooms. Keep playing games and watch your kids learn!