Time Bomb (A beat the clock hangman game play method for AGO Phonics cards)

This game is basically beat the clock hangman. Played with AGO Phonics cards, it practices scanning and decoding skills. 

Mix some phonic cards face up on a desk (the more cards, the difficult it will be). Secretly select a word from one of the phonic cards, and (a la hangman) write an underscore to represent each letter of the secret word on the whiteboard. (i.e. cat would be: _ _ _).

Get an egg timer (or smart phone). Set it to count down from two minutes or whatever you deem to be challenging amount of time. Press start.

Like in hangman, students raise their hand to suggest letters (or alternatively, students take turns). If a guessed letter that is part of your secret word, fill in the appropriate space, otherwise mark the letter down on the board. The basic idea is students scan the cards, and try to figure out the secret word.

On their turn a student can either suggest a letter, or guess the word (but not both). 

The first student to guess the word wins (and takes over your role as quiz master).

If the timebomb goes off, the quiz master wins!

When starting a new round, the new quiz master first rifles through the card deck, and selects their word. Make sure this card is included in the pile of face up cards in the next round!

Tip: When a student selects a secret word after winning, get them to whisper it to you, and then write it down on a piece of paper for them to refer to when filling in the blanks.

Alternatively, you can play this game like classic hangman (or you can draw a bomb with a long wick on the board, and erase some wick each time there is an incorrect guess).

Other options instead of a hangman device* are: An icecream that melts a little with each guess, a candle that burns down with each guess, a shark that gets closer to you with each guess, and animal that gets closer to escape with each guess, a door that gets ‘smashed by a monster’, a dice that gets rolled every time (and if it gets to (30) in total, the students lose. , etc. etc.

* Although hangman is a timeless classic word game in western countries, and in that context quite innoculous it’s message is kind of disturbing if you think about it! If hangman is unknown in the country where you are teaching, we recommend playing with a less gruesome device!