Vocabulary Dip Directions:
I created this game in 1986. It has been a favorite of mine.
One bucket will hold all the words. Another bucket will be labeled "5 POINTS." The third container is for "Dead Words" (or "Perished"). The containers pictured above I bought for $1.00 each at the Dollar Store - I hot-glued the lids on.
I add WORDS all year long...as I am so inspired. I add frequently.
*I add WORDS from ALL content areas, including art, p.e., and music. (like Mondrian, abstract, tempo, vertical, clavicle, digits)
*I don't put all the WORDS listed in the subject vocabulary sections, just the ones that seem challenging.
*I add "root study" WORDS. (like quadruped, quadrilateral, quadruplets)
*I add WORDS I use in the classroom ( optional, expeditiously, elaborate)
*I add WORDS suggested by children and/or their parents (peak, abhor)
*I add fun WORDS and WordMaster words (shroud, beriberi, idioms)
*I add words from different cultures that have meaning to students in my room (marhaba, tarboosh, nopales, menorah)
We play the game every three weeks or so. The kids love to play it.
Form 2 teams. We make up team names.
I have two "waiting chairs" so the next person to go up is already in position - this speeds up the game.
To begin, one person at a time (teams alternate taking turns) goes to the front of the room and draws a word from the 2 POINT bucket. The student reads the word. If he/she can't read it, he may spell it aloud to their team members. Only THAT team may tell him the word. After saying the word, he tells what it means and gives an example. The explanation has to satisfy me. (i.e. "A hexagon is a six-sided polygon. A hot tub could be made in the shape of a hexagon.") If he correctly explains the word, his team gets 2 points on the board and the word is considered "dead." If he can't explain it correctly or doesn't know the meaning, the word goes into the 5 POINT bucket and no points are given.
The next student chooses a word from the 2 POINT bucket OR from the 5 POINT bucket (if there are any words in it). There is no peeking, of course and the procedure continues, keeping score on the front board.
The teacher is the judge.
Words are cumulative. Keep all words in the bucket for the whole year.
Students know in advance to be polite and non-judgmental. I explain that they might get up there and just forget!
"Sometimes the meaning may be on the tip of your tongue, but it just doesn't come out. That's OK!"
If someone should decide to make a comment like, "Oh, that was an easy word," then his/her team would lose points at my discretion (2-5 points).
Kids usually pay close attention because they might get the word in that game (5 PT. BAG) or in another game. It reinforces math concepts, too!
All words are taught prior to being placed in the bucket. There are no surprises.
At the end, everybody claps for everybody.
I appoint a person to write the words on pre-cut cards as words came up in class discussion, or math, or selected literature. I write the others.
P.S. Decorate your bucket!
*You could allow a student to "pass" if he/she is uncomfortable playing the game. I have offered this option, but no one has ever taken it.
*If you color code your words, you can easily pull the MATH words out and play "Math Dip."
*Also if you have students who are in your homeroom, but not in your class for reading, you can give them the option of phoning a friend. This basically means that a team member can tell them the meaning. However, the one choosing the word has to repeat that definition to the teacher.
*The 2-Minute variation - call 2 (or 4) students to the front. The rest of class listens and watches the clock. After two minutes, the class yells, "STOP." During game play, the teacher (as fast as she can pull) pulls words from the bucket and gives a definition or context clue. The 2-4 students yell out the word. The teacher throws that word at them. At the end of 2 minutes, the pair or individual with the most can challenge the next volunteer/s. Usually we don't even count the words for a winner. I just ask for 2 (or 4) more volunteers.
*BONUS POINTS - playing the regular game, you can allow bonus points for complete sentences, stating the source of learning ("I learned this word when we read The Tiger Rising. Rob whittled a tiger for Sistine."), or for multi-meaning words. If you do this, you have to make sure that each team has an equal opportunity for points.
If you have any questions, just e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org