Where do word forms fit? Are they grammar or vocabulary? Many presentations put word forms into part-of-speech tables with columns marked noun, verb, adjective, adverb – a useful way to catalog them and notice affix patterns. The next logical step is to work with them in context. This can be especially helpful if that context pertains to a larger task.

The following game-like activity can be used as a pre-project warm-up activity or to prepare for a revision. (I say “project” to include both writing and speaking tasks.) It can also be adapted as a whole-class or small-group practice. Because it focuses on awareness of parts of speech, it may work best after students are aware of the different forms of words they are likely to use in the project. I like to use it as a follow-up review after students have worked on dictionary skills.

The game should move fast, so circulate among groups encouraging anyone who is stuck too long in contemplation. Also, if you hear an inaccuracy—such as a student who replaces a noun claiming that he has replaced an adjective—try to get other members of the group to notice and identify the error.

The downloadable activity gives full directions for the game.