Weekly Tribes Find the Word

Rather than going according to the book, this is a faster, more manageable version.  “Find the Word” (book version) is much more active, and really good for large autonomous groups.

You will need a assortment of index cards – say 20 per group.  For the first time you do this, I recommend that you prepare each card; write a vocabulary word, a topic for discussion, or a topic you have been working on, and any related words…and just for fun, through in one completely random word that has basically nothing to do with the rest of your carefully chosen words.

Put students in groups of four of five.

Place the cards in a stack, face down.

Review the agreements.

Have students take turns; a student picks up a card and brings it to his/her forehead, with the word facing out, so all in the group can see the word, but the student holding the card cannot.

Each student who can see the card, in turn, gives the student holding the card a one-word clue to help the holder figure out his/her word.  When that student has correctly guessed identified the word, then it is the next student’s turn to pick up the top card and place it on his/her forehead; the rest of the students, in turn, give clues.

When the whole stack has been ‘played’, students can then arrange the cards categorically, redistribute the cards and write sentences for each word on its respective card, use the cards for some ‘tower building’, or simply re-stack the cards and then discuss/design some good reflection questions or observations on the activity.

Just be sure you have some sort of differentiation for those groups who finish before others.

When reflecting, if you find that this was most productive and enjoyable, the next time you do it, have the students come up with what should go on the cards.  (Be sure to ask the students, “What was the random word and why did I put it in there?)

For a staff meeting, choose a topic on which you want input and have each group write comments on the back of each card once the group is finished with the stack.  Keep it really short, like one card per person.  Now you have demonstrated something they can use in class!