This is an engaging game that really challenges students' auditory processing skills. It goes by many names, but when I was introduced to this game in a Teaching English as a Second Language Class, the teacher called it Fruit Cocktail. It is a similar concept to musical chairs.
What You Need:
1. Chairs in a circle, with one less chair than there are players; one person stands in the middle.
Example: 15 players, 14 chairs in a circle, 1 player standing in the middle.
2. Word list with affixes or root words that you have studied in class for player in the middle to call from.
Example Class 1: This class had learned the affixes shown in red (see list below)
Example Class 2: This class had learned the root words in red (see list below).
Example Class 1 Example Class 2
3. One note card for each player with target affixes and/or root words; to make the game successful you want approximately 3-5 players to have the same target affix and/or root word on their card, so approximately 3-5 people have “per-”and 3-5 people have “-ive”
Example Class 1: These note cards (1 for each player, but only 3 shown here) would correspond with the above Example Class 1 word list.
Example Class 2: These note cards (1 for each player, but only 3 shown here) would correspond with the above Example Class 2 word list.
Playing the Game with Accommodations for Struggling Readers
1. Start off by putting the word list on the document camera, and reading it through chorally with your class. Point out the target affixes and/or root words to build confidence and show them that they already know a significant portion of the word because they have studied these word parts.
2. Explain that when they are in the middle they must read one word—ask them to please challenge themselves, but of course if they are not sure of a word, they can choose a word from the list that they know with certainty. They also have the option of asking a teacher to help them read a word from the list. This is also a chance to encourage students to have you repeat any words that they are unsure of.
3. Hand out the notecards to the entire class. One per student with target affixes and/or root words written down. Tell students not to show the note cards to each other; they have one minute to read the words on their note cards. You can tell them to put the note card face down when they are sure they know the words; teachers may want to help students who leave the note cards face up for 30 seconds or more.
4. Teacher starts in the middle for the practice round. Explain that you are going to read a word from the list. If a student’s target affix and/or root word is in the word they must get up and move to a different chair. They MAY NOT move to the chair that is directly beside them. The person in the middle tries to get a chair, and the one left standing is in the middle and reads the next word from the list.
Example Class 1: Person in the middle reads attractive; all the players with -ive on their card must get up and switch chairs, and the person in the middle tries to sit down.
Example Class 2: Person in the middle reads benefit; all the players with bene- on their card must get up and switch chairs, and the person in the middle tries to sit down.
5. Set a time limit for 10 minutes, and if you want you may offer a prize to the students who never end up in the middle.
Stories from the Classroom
1. This game really does challenge students’ auditory processing skills. We do this game only after they are able to decode a word part with automaticity: students can recognize –ive and bene- all day long when I show them a flash card, or a word and ask them what the suffix or root word is. Thus, they are able to decode (read) these word parts. With this game we are really asking them to take the first step in encoding (spelling), which is hearing a word, or saying a word to yourself, and then identifying the parts that make up the word without seeing them.
2. I played this game with my students when I was 7 months pregnant. It can be a slightly physical game, and at one point, one of my more concerned students screamed, “Stay away from Ms. Young’s belly!”
I hope you enjoy playing Fruit Cocktail in your classroom!
Ms. Young is a teacher who wants to keep a record of what works!