Word on the Street Spelling Game

by Nicola
(Texas, USA)

The Word on the Street Game is a fun educational game for school aged children and is recommended for learning new vocabulary, spelling and articulation in Speech Therapy.

Number of Players: 2 - 8

Ages: 12+/Junior version ages 7+

Target: Teaches English vocabulary, the acquisition of new vocabulary and trains spelling competency. Also teaches simple gaming strategy.

The Word on the Street Game is an ideal game to use in Speech Therapy. It is fun and educational. In case you are new to the game, here is a quick overview of the rules...

The game comes with a game board, an egg timer, 17 letter tiles (all consonants, vowels and the letters j, q, x and z are not included) and cards. The cards have categories printed on them front and back. One side displays easier categories to answer, the other side harder ones.
The game board depicts a road with a median strip in the middle and two traffic lanes on either side.

Start by putting the letter tiles on the designated places on the median strip. Players then divide into two teams. Each team “owns” one side of the road.

The goal is to move the letter tiles off the median strip and then off the traffic lanes. The team that moves eight letter tiles off the game board to their side first, is the winner.

On their turn, each team draws one card from the deck. Each card asks the players to come up with and spell the answer to certain categories, for example, a “description of the weather”, “something that comes in a box”, a “type of fruit” or “something sticky”.

Once a team comes up with an answer, the players of that team need to find the consonants of that word among the letter tiles and move those tiles towards them, one space for each time the consonants appear in that word.

For example, to answer the category “a type of fruit”, the team might choose the word “apple”. The team then finds and moves the letter tiles “p” and “l” one space closer to them. Now, because the “p” appears twice in the word “apple”, you can actually move the letter tile “p” two spaces.

Once a team draws a card, the egg timer needs to be turned over and each team has 30 seconds to finish their turn. The game gets more and more challenging as the letter tiles get slowly removed from the board and you are left with only a few to complete a word.

There is also a Word on the Street Junior version. The junior version unlike the original version contains letter tiles with all English language letters (vowels as well as consonants) on them.
Also, in the junior version, it is the amount of time a team needs to think about an answer that is timed. When the time has run out, the team needs to find the letter tiles of the word they agreed on and spell out that word on the game board. What’s nice is that now everyone can work together on the spelling without feeling the pressure of the timer.

Using the Word on the Street Game in Speech Therapy

Recalling and Developing Vocabulary

The category cards in the Word on the Street Game are printed double-sided, one side is easier to answer than the other. The cards ask for names of familiar everyday items and so I sometimes use them as a simple vocabulary teaching or word recalling tool.

The age guide given on the box is 12+, however, in my experience younger children will enjoy this game as well. It is fairly easy to slightly modify this game to fit the needs of younger kids or children with developmental delays. Possible adaptations might be, for example, to play without the timer and to be part of a team, where there is help with spelling and moving the letter tiles.

Additional easy ways to support children as they learn to play may include lengthening each turn by turning the egg timer over twice (or more) or giving hints to start them of on the right track.

Articulation and Spelling

While brainstorming within a team and agreeing on a word, children practice pronunciation and articulation of words in a fun and entertaining way.

By nature, this game can help with developing or improving spelling skills as spelling is the heart of the game. Children are motivated to spell correctly to help their team win. They also get the opportunity to learn from the other players new words they might not have been familiar with before. And kids love learning from other kids!

Creativity and Teamwork

The Word on the Street Game requires lots of brain storming within a team and thus works on furthering creativity and speed. Working, thinking and spelling together becomes lots of fun and serves as motivation to learn new skills.

The cards that come with the Word on the Street game deliver endless opportunities for learning fun, even for those who are younger or with early language skills. It challenges kids on different levels in an entertaining and fun way.

Because this game can be enjoyed by all ages and all skill levels, it will keep children entertained for years to come.

Now you know all there is to know about the game – you are ready to play. Have fun!
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Top Talking Tips...

Sing Nursery Rhymes and Action Songs

Traditional songs and rhymes have hand actions that let your child join in and take a turn, even before they can sing the words.

This helps to work on listening, attention, imitation and turntaking, all important skills for Speech and Language development!