Have you ever played Bananagrams?  Well, honestly, I haven’t either.   I know that it’s a little like Scrabble, and is a banana-bag filled with letter tiles.  At our “opening day” staff meeting, my fabulous principal, Mrs. Sisul, did this version of Bananagrams with our staff.  I thought it would be really great to try it with my 5th graders.  Here’s how we used it in our room on Thursday.

Every kiddo was given a letter tile out of the banana, and then were given these directions:

1. Find as many different other letters as you can and make a word.

2. No talking.

3. Sit down after you have a word.

4. If you can’t use your letter to make a word, wait by the easel.

During our first round, we made the words NUN, PEARS (which later became SPEAR), BOW (which became BROW when we added someone who needed a group), I (it’s a real word, right?), and RIO.  They did great, and followed all of the rules I gave them.  I was a little surprised with how easy it was to do the “not talking” part–that’s usually the rule that gets broken first.  Not these kids, though. 🙂

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We did another round where we added the rule that they had to make words that were 4 or more letters.  They LOVED this game, and have requested it multiple times since we played it.  I’m excited to come back to it often, with different rules each time.  The possibilities are endless, really.  I’m excited to try it for spelling.  Our program is based around a different “generalization” each week, and so they’d have to make words that follow that pattern, i.e. short vowels, “r”-controlled words, long vowels, etc.  I know they’ll be up for the challenge!

Have you played Bananagrams?  Have you used it in your classroom?  Do you have a suggestion for us for a rule we could add to our game?  We’d love to hear your thoughts!