This is a follow up on the word formation game I made last month. It extends the game and reinforces the importance of spelling. I’ve also included a new set of cards with adjectives.

Click here to download the game – the pdf includes the word cards to cut out, the game board and the answer key

You can also download a Powerpoint template to make your own version.

The first part of the game remains unchanged – you can read the instructions here: word formation game: noun suffixes – and come back for the second part of the game.

While students are playing the game, quickly draw a table on the whiteboard. It should have the same layout as the game board:


Once students have completed the game and checked their answers give them a minute to check the spelling of words they found difficult.

Then take the game away, including answers, and split the class into two teams. Give each team a different coloured pen. They’re going to play a variation of a board race with the following rules:

  • One person from each team goes up to write one word from the game into the correct part of the table.
  • They sit down and then pass the pen to the next player on their team.
  • Players must check the other side before writing a new word, because if they duplicate a word then they lose a point at the end of the game.
  • The winning team will have the most correctly spelled words in the most sections (just like in the first game).

Here’s my class in action

action shot.png

After a while, students will run out of words that they remember from the game. When this happens, say that they can now use any adjectives that end in the relevant suffix. This was really motivating for students as it allowed them to use their extended vocabularies and push themselves if they wanted to get more words than the other team.

With my class there was a constant push in various parts of the board; first with the ‘-y’ section and then with ‘-ful’ which created a competitive ebb and flow. This is how it looked at the end:


Apologies for the obscuring sun and the exhausted red pen that had to be substituted at half time

Students then check the board in their teams. They’re motivated to find mistakes the other team have made because it’ll help them win (incorrect answers do not count towards the score). Then they get the answer sheet from the game and do a second check. Here we have ‘numberous’ ‘industial’ and ‘humourous.’

Final score: Red team have more words for ‘-ful’ and ‘-y.’ Green team have more words for ‘-ous’ and ‘-ant.’ The other rows are a tie, so it’s 2-2 overall. (Students may groan, but I like a tie – I never want to see unbalanced teams that might mean a crushing defeat for one side).


I’m much happier with the game now that it has a more focused spelling element – absolutely essential to prepare students for the word formation part of the FCE/CAE.


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