How many words?!

Watermelon.wordsThis words game is a classic.  It’s SO easy to play and my campers love it.  All you need is a piece of paper and something to write with.

Common Core State Standards

Note:  This game can address the following Common Core State Standards:   CCSS.ELA.LITERACY.L.1.2.D,L.3.2.F, RF.K.3.C, RF.1.3.G, RF.2.3.F and RF.3.3.D


  1.  Choose a LONG word or topic that relates with whatever your students are learning.  Here are some ideas:


2.  Have the students write the word in capital letters at the top of a clean piece of paper.

how many words, watermelon

3.  Explain to the students that they are going to use the letters in the word to write shorter words.

how many words, watermelon a 2nd Grader's list of watermelon words

4.  It’s important to clarify to the students that they can only use the number of letters available.

For example, in the word THANKSGIVING there is only one K.  Students can only use one K in any given word that they write.

5.  Decide how much time you want the students to have.  Set the timer.


6. Students write as many words as they can in the allotted time.

Younger or Struggling Writers

For younger or struggling writers, suggest that they first write words that have 2 letters.  After some time, encourage them to write words that have 3 letters and so on.

In general, this is a great strategy for trying to write all the words possible!

Sample Words to Use

Remember, this game can be played with any word.

Here are some ideas:

THANKSGIVING after writing the Thanksgiving Turkey-A to Z poems.

how many words, thanksgiving

WATERMELON after writing a Watermelon Descriptive List.

the word watermelon

PERSONIFICATION after writing Calendar Page-Personification

the word personification and a list of words

ONOMATOPOEIA after writing Onomatopoeias!

KITCHEN TABLE after writing My House During Quarantine

Use whatever word fits your theme!

See how many high frequency words you and your students can make!

Print the Instructions

Here are the instructions for you to print out and use!