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Teaching ASL: Fingerspelling Activity: "Boggle"

BACKGROUND:  There is a game called "Boggle" that is produced by Parker Brothers. You might want to look for it at a thrift store, buy it, and play it a few times to see how fun it is.

PREPARATION:  You can play a version of "Boggle" in your ASL class by using your word processor and a fingerspelling font (such as Gallaudet TrueType) to make playing cards that are four letters by four letters.
Make enough copies (all with the same letter combination) for half of the class (they will work in pairs).

SETUP:   Divide your class into pairs.  Each pair of students is a "team."  Make sure only one person in each pair sees the paper.  This person is the speller.  The speller will find as many words as quickly as possible and fingerspell them to their partner (the writer) who will write them down.

PLAYING THE GAME:  Each speller searches for words that can be constructed from the letters of sequentially adjacent square, where "adjacent" squares are those horizontally, vertically or diagonally neighboring. Words must be at least three letters long, may include singular and plural (or other derived forms) separately, but may not use the same letter cube more than once per word. Any word (noun, adjective, adverb, etc.) is acceptable as long as it can be found in a standard English dictionary. Plural nouns are allowed, as are all verb tenses. Words within words are also permissible; for example:  spare: spa, par, are, spar, pare.

Each "writer" writes down all the words spelled by his or her partner. After three minutes have elapsed, all spellers and writers must  must stop and the game enters the scoring phase.

SCORING AND WINNING: When time is up, everyone must stop writing.  Each team will take turns fingerspelling their list to the class. Any word that appears on more than one team's list must be crossed off all lists, including that of the team doing the fingerspelling.  Whichever team has the most words (that haven't been crossed off) at the end is the winner.

Downloadable file:  "boggle01.doc" (This file is an MS Word document with 9 "boggle cards."  The font used in the file is the "gallaudet true type" font.  It has been embedded into the file and should open fine with Microsoft Word.)

[Special thanks to Andrea Robillard, an ASL instructor in Fort McMurray, Alberta for suggesting the idea for this activity.]


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