Practice and apply knowledge of antonyms, synonyms, multiple-meaning words, and idioms with motivating card games.
- Learn antonyms, synonyms, multiple-meaning words, and idioms
- Communicate with more richness and precision
Language Card Games is made up of four decks of playing cards. Each deck contains 26 stimulus-pairs and 2 jokers. Students learn the target skills by matching hearts to diamonds (red to red) and spades to clubs (black to black). For example, if a synonym pair has the number 9 on both cards, it is a correct match only if the cards are the 9 of hearts and the 9 of diamonds or the 9 of clubs and the 9 of spades. Students can self-check to reinforce learning and still be engaged in a game-playing context.
Directions are included for four games: Make a Match (played like Go Fish), Concentration, Face-Off (played liked War), and Go Together. The decks can be combined as students become more proficient, giving the opportunity to work on multiple skills in one game. A pretest/posttest is included for each of the skill areas.
The words and phrases in each deck are arranged from easy to hard—the higher the card number, the harder the level. The four card decks with examples of their stimuli are:
- Beginning Level: You're putting me on/ You are kidding
- Higher Level: Keep an eye on things/ Watch to make sure nothing happens
- Beginning Level: noisy/loud, home/house
- Higher Level: anxious/worried, confess/admit
- Beginning Level: daughter/son, remember/forget
- Higher Level: strong/weak, liquid/solid
- Multiple-Meaning Words
- Beginning Level: exam—a test; a careful check of someone's health by a doctor
- Higher Level: bluff—a high, steep cliff; to try to fool people deliberately
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- Effective vocabulary instruction strategies engage the student and require higher-level cognitive procession. These strategies include using new words in novel sentences based on connections to prior knowledge, identifying synonyms and antonyms, analyzing word features, and using visual aids (Kester-Phillips, Foote, & Harper, 2008).
- Although there are patterns in understanding idioms, children learn most idioms one at a time, generally in context (Vicker, 2007).
- Language issues that underlie and support the school curriculum need to be addressed (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
- Klein and Freitag (1991) found that instructional games, without sacrificing performance, enhance the motivation of students in the areas of attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction.
Language Card Games incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.
Kester-Phillips, D.C., Foote, C.J., & Harper, L.J. (2008). Strategies for effective vocabulary instruction. Reading Improvement, 45(2), 62-68.
Klein, J.D., & Freitag, E. (1991). Effects of using an instructional game on motivation and performance. Journal of Educational Research, 84(5), 303-308.
Taylor-Goh, S. (2005). Royal college of speech & language therapists: Clinical guidelines. United Kingdom: Speechmark.
Vicker, B. (2007). Aiding comprehension of individuals with autism spectrum disorders during one-on-one interactions. Retrieved August 26, 2010, from www.iidc.indiana.edu/irca/communication/aidingComprehension/html