I was looking for a way to get my students interest in learning the SAT vocabulary (but it could work with any vocabulary). My family always liked playing a game called “Balderdash” which is a real board game from Parker Brothers that has been around since 1984. I made some adjustments to the rules and the kids love it!
The premise is to write the correct definition of a given word on a slip of paper. If you do not know the definition then you try to bluff with a fake definition which is where the hilarity (and creativity) begins!
1. One person is the Dasher, he/she grabs a word at random from the vocabulary cards (you can make them using index cards). Dasher then reads the word aloud and spells it for the other players (this activity works best with groups of *4 to 6 players). They also write the word on a slip of paper with the correct definition.
2. Players then write their name, the word and the definition on a slip of paper and give it to the Dasher. The Dasher checks to see if anyone got the definition correct. Every correct definition is worth 20 points and that person is finished for that round of play. (Their slip of paper with the correct definition is set aside and not read to the remaining players. )
3. Dasher then reads all the definitions (his correct definition and the bluff definitions)to the rest of the players. The Dasher wants to read them all with equal emphasis (this is where they’re acting skills come in). Players then tell the Dasher which definition they think is correct.
Scoring (see attached score sheet):
4. If no one chooses the correct definition then Dasher gets 5 bluff points. Anyone that guesses the correct answer (hopefully using what they know about prefixes, suffixes, root words, etc.) gets 10 points. If someone chooses your bluff definition, you get 5 bluff points.
5. When scoring is complete the correct definition is read and added to the students vocabulary tablet.
*For groups of 3 players:
The Dasher writes the correct definition as well as a bluff definition.
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