For one day's rotation of Daily Five, I just positioned myself at the Word work table so I could meet with each group as they tried Boggle as a part of word work. It was a good thing that I did that because a lot of the kids never really had the "extra" time before to do it and many of them didn't really understand the different ways they could use the board.
Now, I'm a bonafide word-nerd, so I grew up playing Boggle, but just in case you didn't and your kids aren't sure either - here are some tips. Words can be made by going across, up, down and diagonal, much like a word search. However, discourage your kids from actually drawing lines on the Boggle board because it gets all scribbled on fast and they need to use the same letters over and over in different variations.
Here you can see the simple words gas and with that were made just by reading across the line. In the second example, you can see how things get a little more tricky when they move around the board in more interesting ways.
So to get my kids to come up with better words than the most obvious, I started to give them clues.
For example, I saw the word gash. So first I said, "I see a word that means a deep cut". In one group, one kid got it right away. In the other groups I needed to give some more clues. So I went on, "It starts with a G". Then clarified "It's the G in top row". Someone in most of the groups got it by then, but I had to keep going for some. So I tried, "It rhymes with bash". I had one group who still couldn't get it and when I revealed the word, it turned out that they just didn't know the word. I made a big deal about how awesome it was that we learned a new word today!
For another word, I gave clues that went something like this:
1. It's a part of your body.
2. It's in the middle of your body.
3. It's the place where you wear a belt.
Most of them got waist at that point. So then I said, "Now, find a homophone for waist" because conveniently waste could also be made from the same w.
We did this for a few words each time. For guest, I told them to look for a word the describes people who come over to your house. Then gave them a few more clues like, "it rhymes with best", etc. When they got guest, I asked them if they could make it plural to get an even bigger score - and what do you know? They could! Amazing how that happened ;0)
So with one little round of Boggle we practiced spelling, vocabulary, rhyming words, homophones, plurals, and more. Not too shabby! Plus it really renewed their interest in the game and they're begging me for it again. I took some care when making the board to be sure that there were some good words to find and use as a teaching opportunity.
You'll notice on the sheet I added a scoring section. This adds a nice little math component. Some started to write the number of points next to each word to make it easier to count when they were done. I offered the high score a free number on our class bingo chart as a reward. The seemed pretty stoked about that!
If you want a copy of the board, just click HERE to grab it from Dropbox.
*Edited to add: After several requests, I made an entire set of printable boggle games which you can find HERE!
Let me know what you think!