Type of Initiative: Time Filler
Source: Playing With A Full Deck, by Michelle Cummings
Group Size: Best played with 6-12 players.
Props Needed: Playing cards
Playing the Game: Invite your group to stand or sit in a circle. Deal each participant one card and ask them to hold it face down. The participant to the facilitator’s left begins by saying, “I went to the department store and I bought…..” As soon as he has said “bought”, the participant to the facilitator’s right shows their card. The participant who is speaking must immediately say the number of the turned-up card and a noun that begins with the same letter as the number of the card.
For example, for a two he might say, “two tangerines”; for a four, “four firecrackers.” For an ace, instead of “one,” the player uses “an” and so might say, “an avocado.” For face cards, no number is used, simply the first letter of the card. So, for a jack, the player might say, “a jellybean”; for a queen, “a quince”; and for a king, “a kite.”
Play continues all the way around the circle. The second time around the circle the participants must precede the noun with an adjective. For example: “five fine forks,” “ten tiny turnips,” “a quaint quilt, “ etc.
Variations: To encourage further vocabulary building, vary the carrier sentence: “I went to the zoo and saw…..” or “I went to the toy store and bought…”
Please feel free to specify the phrase to fit your group. For example:
I went to camp and I took……. Two tarps, three thermometers, four frogs, an air mattress….
I went to school and I took….. Two tablets, three thumbtacks, four fractions, an apple...
I went on a backpack trip and I took….. Two tents, three thermoses, four forks, an ant trap
I went on a corporate retreat and I took…. Two tables, three theories on management, four fur coats, an apprentice...
I went into rehab and I took….. Two tube socks, three therapists, four family photos, an angry attitude....
To elicit verbs instead of nouns, use this sentence: “My grandmother told me never to….” This can be made more difficult by requiring players to add two alliterative words—here, a verb and an adverb, or a verb and a noun. Participants will begin to see the differences between verbs that are transitive (requiring an object) and those that are intransitive.
Some examples of sentences produced in this variation of the game follow. Two words finish the sentence. “My grandmother told me never to….”
Ace: act angry
Two: tease turtles
Three: throw tantrums
Four: faint foolishly
Five: fall fast
Six: swallow sardines
Seven: speak sarcastically
Eight: eat eels
Nine: nibble nuts
Ten: terrify tarantulas
Jack: joke jovially
Queen: quit quoting
King: kick kittens
Learning Skills: practice in phonics (initial sounds of words), verbal fluency, understanding of sentence structure and parts of speech, sensitivity to alliteration.
- What was difficult about this activity for you?
- Was this harder than you thought it would be? Why or why not?
Learning styles utilized from the 7 Kinds of Smart: ~self smart, people smart, picture smart, word smart, logic smart
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