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Vocab Roll (all grades)


Author: Robert Jackson, Kiev International School


Subject: English, Science, Cultural Studies, Language, anything with vocabulary


Objective: To learn important vocabulary words


Materials and Preparation:


  • Two dice (although only one is needed, I always keep a spare)

  • 3x5 cards

  • stopwatch


Student Grouping: Teams of 4-8 players.


The Play: Before class, write each vocabulary word on a separate 3x5 card. Include any important information such as correct spelling, full definition, page from text book, kind of word (noun, verb...), etc. The students should have had the vocabulary as homework, knowing that they will be playing Vocab Roll the next day. Peer support helps students to study. In fact, I have had middle school students call each other to go over vocabulary words so that their team would win.


  • Game time: 5 minutes

  • Team members take turns rolling the dice to find out what they must do with the vocab word:

    • 1 or 2: student must spell the word

    • 3 or 4: student must define the word

    • 5 or 6: student must use word in an appropriate sentence

  • As soon as the game begins, the first student rolls the dice and the teacher reads the word on the first card.

    • If the student gets it right according to her roll, the team gets two points

      • If wrong, then the team looses one point.


Naturally, students will want to move as fast as possible to get more points. The bonus here is that they will probably go through each vocabulary word about 3 times. I have never had a student fail a vocabulary test after playing this game. They cannot help but know the words.

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