This activity requires that you have a few story starters that are age-appropriate for the students. This can be done in one large group or several smaller ones depending on the Human Scrabble
If the group is large, divide it into smaller groups of about 9-12. For this exercise, you will need either children’s blocks with letters on them, magnetic letters, or you may just write the letters of the alphabet on cardstock – or use Scrabble tiles. Feel free to use a mixture. Each person should have 1 – 3 letters, and each group should have the same letters. Encourage those in each group to mingle to create words. If a single person has 2 letters that are needed for a word, decide if participants can exchange letters or if the group needs to get creative in holding the letters so an individual can “stretch” between two letter positions. If you can arrange it, try to determine a word ahead of time that would involve all participants in a group, so there is at least one word they all participate in. Feel free to hint or outright suggest this word as they play.
There are multiple ways to score the game if you choose. Individuals could get points for being in a word. If you have multiple groups, you could give the group points for every word they make, or longer words could be worth more. You can incorporate a math lesson for older student groups but scoring a word based on adding their Scrabble tile values (posted or copied for the groups). For younger student groups, you may want to provide a list of words they need to spell, and the scoring is on how fast they can complete the list.
To process the activity, ask these or similar questions:
- Did you like being a human Scrabble board?
- If you had a vowel, were you busier than others?
- If you had Z or X, did you get used?
- How quickly did the one holding the “Q” connect with the “U”?
- Did you feel important if you were selected for a word?
- How did it feel when everyone was part of a word?
- Did someone in each group act as a leader to arrange the letters, or did you all participate equally?
- Will you remember how it felt to be left out of words and try to include everyone in group activities?
(Hint: You may want to arrange that the participants who are shy or not as popular get the vowels to ensure they are engaged in the game.)
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How did this activity go when you used it in your group? Did you make any modifications that worked better for you? Share your experience below!