Scrabble letters

Jo Budden, British Council, Spain

Here are some useful learning activities based around scrabble letters.

This requires a bit of time to prepare the scrabble letters but they can be used with all ages and levels so it may well be a good investment of your time. You need to prepare a set of scrabble letters for each group of 4 - 5 students.

Scrabble letters >> 88k

It’s a good idea to copy the letters onto different coloured card for each set. If students are working close to each other it makes it easy to separate them at the end and for tasks when you need more letters you can mix two sets together.

Once you have made your sets there are hundreds of things you can do with them. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Spelling tests
    Divide the class into teams and give each team a set of Scrabble letters. Get them to spread out the letters on the table so they’re all facing up. Then give clues for words you want to test them on, e.g. ‘the day before Wednesday’, students ‘write’ TUESDAY on the table by selecting the scrabble letters. ‘What’s this in English?’ – point to things in the classroom, draw on the board etc. Once students get the idea, ask one of them to lead the game and give the clues instead of you.
  • Tenses
    If students are learning the past simple tense, give them the sets of letters and you say the infinitive and they write the past simple forms using the letters. Eg. You say ‘go’ students write ‘went’ in scrabble letters.
  • Crosswords
    Put students in groups and give each group one set of scrabble letters. Ask them to see how many words they can make with their set connecting them up like a crossword.
  • How many words can you make in two minutes?
    In groups students use a set of letters to see how many different words they can make. The winning group makes the most / longest words.

Until you see students in action with the Scrabble letters you may think there’s little point in going to the trouble of making the sets of letters. However, energetic young learners who are constantly fiddling find the sets of letters fascinating. A game of scrabble letters, which is effectively a spelling test, can last for ages and students are always reluctant to stop playing. The more you use the letters, the more uses you’ll find for them.