Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Learning Together - Hangman

If you don't have a good small whiteboard in your family supplies I can tell you ours is used more than any other 'toy' we have.

Hangman - a game of words. Even wee Bounce can play this. For the first few rounds he just watched and contributed the odd letter but then he decided he could do it too. Of course his words are simpler and he has less chance of guessing our words.

Why hangman?

  • vowels knowledge -  when you play hangman you learn that every word contains at least one vowel (yes sometimes that is a only a y), so you learn which vowels there are and subsequently what a vowel is
  • you also learn that vowels don't give as much meaning (chance of guessing) as consonants
  • you learn that some consonants appear much more frequently than other ones
  • you learn about blends - eg if a word ends in an 'h' it will probably have a 'c' before it, if the 2nd letter of a word is l you are going to guess letters like s and b instead of n and d
  • you learn to look at parts of a word and access your own knowledge of other words you know to make considered guesses
  • you laugh and you have fun with other family members
  • you practise writing letters (not just the ones in the word because we write down each letter as people guess it)
  • you make sure your spelling is correct
  • your mother chooses words from your spelling list for her words to reinforce letter patterns within the word and to make you laugh when you guess them

You may choose to have conversations about these things while you play or you can trust that many of these pieces of knowledge will just drop into a way of thinking as you play more and more. You are the best gauge of that one - just don't ruin a fun game by making it all about 'teaching'.

If, like me, you don't love the idea of drawing a hanging person we change it up and start drawing a picture of our word, line at a time. Or you could call it something else like sink the boat and do something like that instead.

Learning Together a series for primary aged children and their parents - activities that break up homework monotony, promote skills and create positive experiences together.