Word Snake

by Mike-Norwalk

This game was used by my favorite teacher in high school, Mr. Gevirtzman. He taught English class, but always kept it lively and interesting with games like this to break up the monotony of just reading text in class.

It doesn't take long too play, but it gets your adrenaline going, wakes you up, and gets your brain thinking in a new direction. I just remember it being one of my favorite times in his class.

I learned this in my English class of about 30 students. It's best suited for larger groups and probably in the age range of elementary up to high school. It's a quick, fast-draw type of game that makes you think quick on your feet.

RESOURCES: The only thing you need is a dictionary if there's a dispute over a word. My teacher used to give Hostess snack cakes to the winner of the game, so small prizes are always fun, too.

DURATION: It only takes about 5-10 minutes to do one round with 30 kids. Like I said, it's a lightening fast game, which is why it works so well with the ADD generation.

INSTRUCTIONS: It's very simple. The first student shouts out a random letter. Then the second student shouts out another letter to ADD to that first letter. Then the third student shouts out another letter to ADD to those first 2 letters, and so on.

The object of the game is to form an actual word with all the letters. If you think the person before you has gotten himself into a mess, you shout out "CHALLENGE!" and he has to come up with the word or he's eliminated. If he does come up with a legitimate word, than you're eliminated.

My favorite example is when I eliminated a kid like this: First student shouted out: M! Second student shouted out: A! Third student shouted out: N! I shouted out: K! The next kid challenged me, saying, "What are you going to come up with using "MANK..."? I shouted out: "MANKIND!" and he got eliminated. This even shocked my English teacher.

The key to the game is speed. Each player only gets 2 seconds to contribute their letter, so it goes lightening-fast. You see people's minds scrambling to make sense of the letters coming to them before it gets to their turn. This keeps going until people are eliminated one-by-one and only 2 people are left trying to eliminate each other. One person will eventually come out on top, and that round is over.

It's very simple and very fun. Lots of laughs, watching people panic. This can be done in any language, not just English. It's a great way to learn spelling.

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