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20 October 2014
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How to use online activities

Word Balloons

Curriculum Relevance | Breadth of Study | Objectives | Game Overview
How To Use With Interactive Whiteboard | How to use only small number of Computers

Curriculum Relevance

Key Stage 1 NC Level: 2/3
En2 Reading 1j
En3 Writing 1a, 1b, 7a

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Objectives
To encourage creativity with vocabulary and knowledge/use of interesting words.

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Game Overview
This game is designed to help the player expand their vocabulary and features the characters Daisy and the Unicorn from the Starship TV programmes. The aim of the game is to help Daisy reach the Unicorn by collecting word balloons. The Unicorn presents the player with a balloon containing a word, the player is then asked to select another word balloon, which contains a different word but that has a similar meaning. If the player clicks on the wrong answer, the balloon will pop and they will be asked to have another go. For every correct answer chosen, Daisy will receive a balloon and will gradually get nearer to the unicorn.

If playing in Netscape, you will need Flash player 4.0.20 or above in order to print out the results. There is an option to upgrade your Flash as you access the game.

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How to use on an Interactive Whiteboard
  • Re-cap on different word classes covered in the year's work such as verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Choose a selection to discuss e.g. said, hot, and nice. Talk about more interesting words that can be used instead.
  • Explain why it's good practice to use a widespread vocabulary when writing. Demonstrate the purpose of a Thesaurus and use to brainstorm examples with class.
  • Bring up first screen and listen to Daisy's instructions. Click start, listen to Daisy's speech, go to 'How to play' if you need to recap on instructions. As you play the game, point to word balloons and read words aloud. Ask children to look out for words, which also appear on the 'Word Balloons' activity sheet.
  • Suggested Questions: Which word sounds better in this sentence? - Why? Which word means the same/similar to…? Can you change the meaning of the sentence to the opposite? E.g. hot to cold
  • Listen carefully to Daisy's speech at the end and write up key points. Play game again, this time ask children to think of other words that match the word balloon. E.g. huge, big, large, massive etc.
  • Use thesaurus and dictionaries to generate groups of words that have a similar meaning. Group them by word class e.g. verbs, adjectives etc
  • To reinforce and check learning ask children to complete the Word Balloons activity sheet.
  • Ask children to think of a verb to act out in pairs, allow five minutes to prepare. Then ask each pair to perform their mime, and see if the rest of the class can guess the verb.
  • Give each pair a word e.g. small, and ask them to list some alternative words. Provide access to thesaurus, dictionary and other reading material to help them. Make a treasure hunt, by asking children to hide the words around the room. Give the original word to another group and ask them to locate the relevant words from around the room.
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How to use only small number of Computers
  • Re-cap on different word classes covered in the year's work such as verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Choose a selection to discuss e.g. said, hot, and nice. Talk about more interesting words that can be used instead.
  • Explain why it's good practice to use a widespread vocabulary when writing.
  • Use 'Word Balloons' activity sheet to introduce the characters Daisy and the Unicorn. Talk about 'imaginary creatures' sighting the Unicorn as an example. Ask class to suggest alternative words for 'imaginary'? E.g. make-believe, made-up, fantasy, dream, pretend, unreal. Look up word in Thesaurus and brainstorm examples with class. Ask children to start thinking about their own make up creature and the words they would use to describe it.
  • Ask children playing online game to work in pairs. Bring up first screen and ensure children listen to Daisy's instructions. Point out the 'How to play' facility. As children play the game encourage them to point to all the word balloons that appear and read words aloud.
  • Ask children to make two lists adverbs and adjectives, and ask them to collect examples as they play the game.
  • Ask children to collect words that could be used to describe their imaginary creature, e.g. Is their monster going to be huge or teeny?
  • Ask them to collect words, which have similar meanings, e.g. huge, big and large.
  • Whilst children are waiting to play online game ask them to develop their fantasy creature. Ask them to use Thesaurus/dictionaries/story books to collect good describing words and sort words into groups that have a similar meaning e.g. furry, hairy, woolly or fuzzy.
  • Make class list of 'Banned Words'! E.g. nice and ask children to collect alternatives.
  • Ask children to write a description of their imaginary creature and then illustrate it.
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Programme Links
Radio Programmes 2, 3 and 4
TV Programme 4

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