Game - Scattergories

Anybody ever play Scattergories in their classrooms? If you haven't, you really should try it!

It's very simple. It works exactly like the real game does but we play on the board and in teams. First, I start off the game by giving my students 4-5 categories. I usually try to make at least 3 categories the 'educational part' of the game and 1 or 2 are just for fun. For example, if we are playing this game in social studies class, I may decide to make one of the categories something like 'name of a country', 'historical figure', or 'natural resource'. I sometimes ask my students to help me come up with the categories (this encourages their involvement in the preparation of the game. A student always feels proud when his/her category gets chosen for the game.
Once the categories are chosen, I make groups of 3-5 students (depending on how large my class is). I then give each team and small whiteboard with a marker so that they can record their answers.
The rest is a piece of cake! Put any random letter on the board and allow groups 1 minute to come up with one answer per category (their answers are words that begin with the letter assigned). When the minute is up, each group has to send one of their members to the board to write all their answers.
Here are the rules:
1. In order to get a point for your word, it MUST be spelled correctly. (However, no dictionaries are allowed during the game. Students are expected to work together and spell the words correctly.)
2. If another group has come up with the same answer, your points are canceled out and you both do not get a point. (This encourages students to be as creative as possible when finding words for the categories)
3. Points are tallied for each team and a new letter is put on the board with one more minute of fun!

I have been playing this game with my students since my first year in teaching. It is fun with all ages and all subjects.
Here is a list of ideas for the categories. 
Scattergories Categories


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  1. How would you play this with children who do not write? Any ideas for an oral version?

  2. You need some way to record the student's answers. Without other student's knowing their answers. A bit tricky if no one can write.

  3. For an oral version I've made the categories onto flashcards and all the letters of the alphabet on flashcards and instead of writing I play it as an oral game. Two children face off, if they get it correct they keep standing and a different child comes up to face off with them. They love it.

  4. I am substitute teaching at the moment and have been looking for fun and educational games to play with various elementary grade levels. This is perfect. Thank you!


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