Word Games Lead to Word Power

Here is a Fun Way to Build Your Vocabulary

by Aavante Clay, age 15

Word games such as Scrabble, Text Twist, Bookworm, Hangman, and Wheel of Fortune all contribute to vocabulary skills.

I inherited my love of word games from my mother. She and I love playing knowledge-based games, particularly word games. As a child, she often read books to herself, sometimes reading through a dictionary and picking words that looked interesting. She then practiced using them in sentences to gain a full understanding of the word.  My mom passed this hobby on to me.

One of our favorite games is Scrabble. This game is a class. It was invented by Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938. Ten years later, James Brunot bought the rights to produce the game and named it Scrabble.

This word game uses letter tiles on a 15 by 15 game board. These tiles can be placed vertically or horizontally to spell out words. All words must be in a standard dictionary. Each letter is worth a certain number of points depending on how common the letter is. On the board, certain squares multiply the tiles by two or three to increase your point total.

At times, I get stuck on a group of letters and use a dictionary to find words that include the letters I have.  The rules of the game don’t necessarily allow this tactic, but when you’re playing just for fun it’s okay.

Playing Scrabble expands your vocabulary. It teaches you new words and definitions, and pushes you to use these words more often in everyday life.

Another game my mom and I love to play is Wheel of Fortune. Wheel of Fortune is a television game show and board game based on solving word puzzles. The object is to gain more money than your opponents.

Wheel of Fortune features a large wheel that is spun by each player. The wheel has wedges with different prizes and penalties. At the beginning of each player’s turn, the wheel is spun. If that player lands on a cash prize and names a correct letter (one included in the hidden word or phrase), the amount of letters is multiplied by the cash amount. Vowels can be purchased with your earnings.     Solving puzzles costs nothing, but can reap rewards at the end of the round. The player with the highest earnings wins the game and advances to the bonus round, where they can win even more prizes

Wheel of Fortune helps me familiarize myself with new words and phrases that I can use everyday.

These are just two of the many word games that will help expand vocabulary. To my mother and me, they don’t just help with expanding our use of language, but also provide opportunities to bond with family and friends.

Click here to view popular Free Press features "That's A Good Word" and "Coin That Phrase"

[Sources: www.rouletteDoc.com, www.anagrammer.com/scrabble.php]