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Creating a Board Game Using Greek and Latin Roots

By Lenzi Hart

Greek and Latin roots can be challenging to learn. In this article, students will learn how to create a board game that will test and review their knowledge of Greek and Latin roots words.

Creating a Board Game Review

Greek and Latin roots are difficult to master if you focus solely on rote memorization. Creating a Latin and Greek roots board game is a fun way to learn roots without having to sit down and memorize note cards. Here's how to create a fun board game for Greek and Latin roots.

Divide students into groups of three or four.

Materials needed for each group:

  • index cards (enough for each root on the designated list)
  • poster board
  • markers
  • board game tokens
  • one die

Before beginning this project, it is a good idea to designate a list of 50-60 Greek and Latin roots that you would like this game to review and focus on, instead of trying to tackle a huge list of 100 or so roots. Discuss the importance and usage of Greek and Latin roots in the English language, and tell students that they will be creating a game using their comprehension of Greek and Latin roots and affixes.

Step One: The Greek and Latin Root Word List

Divide the list into two equal parts, or attempt to divide into equal parts if you have an uneven list. The first portion of the list, students will create "Define" cards, and the second portion of the list, students will create "Example" cards. Using 3x5 index cards is the best way to do this, so make sure each student has an appropriate number of cards before continuing to the next step.

Step Two: Making the Cards

Using the divided list, create a card for each Greek and Latin root or affix. If a member is assigned to create cards for a word on the "Define" portion of the list, the card will have a definition of the root on the card, but will not have the Greek and Latin root written anywhere on the card. On the blank side the student will write "Define" and on the on the other side they will write the definition of that root or affix. Students who draw a "define" card will have to guess what root or affix the card is defining. For the "Example" cards, students will use the dictionary to write words that use the root or affix. Students will have to verbalize a definition for the Greek and Latin root if they draw the card during the game. Create a card for each word on the list.

Step Three: Creating the Board Game

After completing the cards, the students will create the game board. This part of the activity, you can allow for a student's creativity. If they wish to create a certain "theme" for the board, let them! I've had everything from "Sponge Bob Square Pants" boards to Greek Parthenon boards. It is up to you to designate the types of artwork students can have on their group boards. Boards must have fifty squares, and can be put into any type of pattern, as long as they are connected for a game token to move across. Labe the squares "Example", "Define", or "FREE".

Step Four: The Rules of the Game

After cards and game board are complete, the rules and procedures of the game must follow this basic premise:

  1. Player rolls the die, and draws a card according to the label of the box they land.
  2. Player must answer the card correctly to be granted another turn. If they guess incorrectly, their turn is over and the next player can take a turn. If the guess is correct, they can roll again, but only one more time. So a player can move two times in one turn if they guess correctly.
  3. The first player to finish the board wins the game.

There are several variations students can implement within their own game. Encourage them to create different formats or maybe even add more challenges to the board. Perhaps add squares that require students to use a Greek and Latin root in a sentence? The possibilities are endless, and this will be an enjoyable method for students to study and master Greek and Latin roots!