SAND Castle Vocab!

A fun, beach-themed twist on learning vocabulary words!

Strategy/Skill Taught

The skill that I focused on with this game is simply learning vocabulary words; their definitions, synonyms, and antonyms.

Grade Level & Standard

What's great about this game is that it can be adapted for multiple grade levels! I created this game at a 4th grade level so that I could practice it with my 4th grade practicum students.

Objective: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of a word by giving its definition, synonym, or antonym.

Here are the standards that I used to develop my game:


Demonstrate understanding of words by relating them to their opposites (antonyms) and to words with similar but not identical meanings (synonyms).

Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words


1. Using weekly vocabulary words (can be separated into individual reading groups) write/type each word on a notecard

  • List the word on the front of the card
  • List the word's definition, 1 synonym, and 1 antonym on the back of the card

2. In small groups of 3-5, students will take turns drawing a single card and holding the word up so that the player to their right can see it.

3. The player to their right will then spin the spinner while keeping the word in mind.

  • If it lands on "S" they must give a synonym for the word they were given
  • If it lands on "A" they must give an antonym for the word they were given
  • If it lands on "N" they must use the word "n" a sentence
  • If it lands on "D" they must give the word's definition

4. The student holding the card judges whether or not they answer correctly. This student can also offer a hint by providing one of the other things on the card besides what the spinner indicated.

5. If the student answers correctly, they get one solo cup to begin building their "SAND castle"

6. The cards are then passed the the left, and the process repeats until all the words have been used.

7. The student with the highest "SAND castle" at the end of the game, wins!

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