Sunday, 13 May 2012

Writing using board games

This was something I was reminded of after reading a great post on 'Slow Writing' from learning

Simple board game template available from a complicated link:

Students have to begin with writing an opening sentence and then they can roll the dice. The squares repeat so they hit a range of strategies and they have to follow the instruction in their next sentence. If they land on the writing picture, they can write a sentence without a specific technique. If they land on the thinking symbol, they have to stop writing and check through what they have written.

I used this version with my Y9 group L3-4 and it improved their descriptive writing content considerably (the task was based on 'Teacher's Dead' by Benjamin Zephaniah). They loved it, especially the 'Chance' cards which they had to come and collect from me which said things like: 'What is your narrator feeling?' 'Describe 2 senses other than sight', 'Introduce a character and describe their appearance', 'Describe the weather'. They actually deliberately fixed it to land on those squares!

I've even managed to dig out the lesson plan:

It is very easily adapted for different kinds of writing and different abilities. Also great to use (and quieter) are these foam dice which are available from about 40p each online:

You can put techniques, questions, challenges, etc. on the different sides. I've used these right up to A level with different readings on each side: Marxist, feminist, psychoanalytical, etc or use the bullet points or assessment objectives from exam questions and get students to analyses texts according to what they throw.

Even better, get students to come up with their own games to challenge eachother!


  1. Fantastic! Off to source those dice! Thank you.

  2. Does this link still exist as i land on Meet Windows 8 page?

    1. Thanks for letting me know the link no longer works. I can't find the exact one I used, but you could try this:

  3. A year on and not only has the board game link disappeared, but the dice now seem to cost £2.70 each (from ESPO)! If you find them cheaper, please let me know :)

  4. A good idea but can't get the board games to print at all.

  5. A good idea but can't get the board games to print at all.