Name of Game:

Words in Words

Target Students:

Middle School

High School


15-30 minutes

Number of Students:

Teams of 3-4

English Skills:




Use the letters of a long word to spell smaller words


  1. Make sure each team has a dictionary
  2. Write a large word or phrase on the board
  3. Give teams 10 minutes to come up with as many words as possible by using the letters on the board
  4. When time is up, one leader from each team will say the team’s words
  5. Each word is scored as follows:
  • 1-letter words = 1 point
  • 2-letter words = 3 points
  • 3-letter words = 5 points
  • 4-letter words = 8 points
  • 5-letter words = 10 points
  • 6-letter words = 12 points
  • 7-letter words = 15 points
  • 8 or more letter words = 20 points


  • Have each time submit words one at a time and write them on the board, with no duplicate words allowed
  • Words that every team has are omitted and have no point value
  • Simply have teams hand in word sheets and tally scores


Use words/phrases with an ‘e’ and ‘r’ so students can make words that end in ‘er’. Do the same with ‘ing’, ‘ly’, ‘s’ and other tails. You can have each team choose a ‘secretary’ to write down the words and ‘seekers’ to look in the dictionaries.

Be sure to follow up this game by having students make sentences with some of the words (5 seems to works well) and use the words in listening exercises in future.