Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blurt!

Do you know the game Blurt!?  It is a great vocabulary game.  I'm going to tell you a bit about the game, then I'm going to tell you how I modified it to play with specific vocabulary and how to play without having the actual game.

Blurt! is a vocabulary game where your friends are given a definition.  The first person to call out the correct vocabulary word gets to move their playing piece that many spaces on the board.  The first person to go around the board once wins.  This is the game I have.  I picked it up at Goodwill over the summer for $1.99 thinking it would be a fun center activity for my friends.

I went online to see if the game was available, and it seems Amazon has a new edition of the game available.
Both editions come with a junior version for your younger friends and a more advanced version for your upper elementary friends. 

To play the regular version, you roll the dice and the reader reads the clue on that number. 1, 2, and 3 definitions are supposed to be easier than 4, 5, and 6.  However, I think it just depends on your schema.  Your friends then blurt out what they think the word is until someone gets it correct.  Here are a few of the cards from the older version of the game.  Sorry about the gaps between pictures, can't seem to get rid of them.

               
On the back of the cards are blue definitions.  This is for playing the junior version.  
 











The junior version is different in that the teacher reads the definition and your friends have to write the correct word rather than blurt it out loud.  If they get the correct word and it is spelled correctly, they move four spaces.  If they get the correct word but it's spelled incorrectly, they move three spaces.  Wrong word doesn't move.  To be honest, I've played it this way with my older friends and it works.

This is what the cards look like in the newer version.  I think one side is regular version and the other is junior version as in the older game, but it looks like there are three levels of difficulty now rather than two.

I can tell you that after playing the game for just a few minutes in class, I could easily tell who had a large vocabulary and who didn't.  It was also very interesting to hear the words they blurted out.  I don't think they realized how many synonyms they knew for different words.

So, you know I can't leave well enough alone. I had to figure out how to modify this game for my friends.

Instead of using the cards provided, I took the vocabulary words we have used to date and made our own cards.  Actually, I have Word documents with vocabulary for different subjects saved.  I just printed those out and cut them into strips, and we used those.  I put half in a jar for 1, 2, 3 and the other half in a jar for 4, 5, and 6.  This allowed my friends to review, even preview, some vocab they need them to know.

I've also taken the concept of the game to teach word choice.  We randomly picked a card and wrote down all the words my friends blurted out.  As I noted earlier, they are really surprised at the number of synonyms they know for words.  We then talked about which were stronger for writing and which words fit certain situations better.  I did it for about four words.  Just the fact that they got to yell out words got them immediately engaged.  There are also more options in the directions for things like Challenges and Takeovers, but I'm just sort of giving you the basics here.

Then, I started to think about how to play if you didn't have the game board or just didn't want to drag it out.  The game board is essentially a square of squares.  Yeah, that makes sense!  Check out the picture.
You could easily just use a paper with squares or another game board you may have.  Or, you could play without a board.  Just roll a die and whoever gets the word correct gets that many points.  Set a point goal and whoever reaches it wins.  If you use your own vocab words, you wouldn't need the game at all.

However, I do recommend this game.  It is a lot of fun.  I even had two parents contact me earlier this month asking where I got it because two of my friends asked to get it for Christmas.  If that's not an endorsement, I don't know what is!  I would issue one warning.  I originally bought the game thinking it would be good for a center activity.  Not so much.  Blurt! can get a little loud.  It seems to inspire some very enthusiastic play!  However, if you have them write the word as in the junior version, it will work as a center activity just fine.

By the way, the Blurt! people have no idea I'm reviewing this game.  It is just my thoughts on a fun and educational game.  I wanted to post about it because I'm always looking for educational games that are worth playing.  Many times educational equals boring, and my friends hate the game.  In this case, educational equals fun and they love it!   So, what do you think of Blurt!?

Update 2/16/14:  I came across another blogger, Jen at Hello Mrs. Sykes, that wrote a great blog post about Blurt! Check out her awesome blog for her take on the game. :-)



5 comments:

  1. Ummm, Kim? Not exactly sure what to make of your comment, but I'm thinking you like Blurt. Maybe????

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  2. Oh Nancy:
    How sweet you are! My mom would have loved your grace. I am forever talking without thinking, and you so sweetly responded, when you could easily have said, "Are you CRAZY, Girl?! This makes no sense!"

    I would love it if you could delete my two deletions (because it makes me feel bad that it makes your lovely page look "messy"--and this one too, if you choose, because, unfortunately, blog-writing does not have an adequate eraser!

    AND, you guessed it, I DO love BLURT! In fact, I am on vacation in Washington, and we played it today! It reminds me a bit of the game, Taboo, which can also be hard for kids with limited English skills.

    So, a long comment, a big apology, and a bigger thank you for your kindness. May the New Year bring you many delightful momnets...

    Kim
    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

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  3. What a great idea! This could be used for all kinds of vocabulary...content area related words, right?

    I think I know just what to do with some of my Christmas money :)

    Thanks for this post!

    Elizabeth

    Fun in Room 4B

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  4. I'm glad you all are interested in trying Blurt! Let me know if you do. I would love to know how your friends like it. Thanks for commenting.

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