I have been playing Quiddler for over five years and am currently on my third pack of cards. (Wear and tear from overuse is the reason for replacement.) During this time I've been on a personal quest to achieve a world shattering score. Yes, I am a teeney, weeney bit competitive, but more with myself than any playing partner. To date my highest score is 443, achieved without bonuses. I can tell you I'm having a very difficult time matching it. The rules for this game are very straight forward and my young nieces and nephews have learnt them very quickly.
This game is very straightforward and the basis of the rules are on the back of the pack. There are 118 cards in the pack and up to eight people can play at a time. There is also a solitaire version for this game. This video will give you a good idea of how to play.
The aim of the game is to combine all the cards in your hand to make words. In the first round all players receive three cards. You must make a word using all three cards. If you can't use any card or there is a card with a higher value available, then you can pick up another card and discard the one in your hand. Once a player goes down, all other players have another turn to make a word or words with the cards in their hand. If a card cannot be used, the value of the card is deducted from the total of the word or words made. You go on to play eight rounds where the number of cards increases by one each round until you reach ten cards.
You can improve your score each round with BONUSES. The player with the longest or most words receive ten points. If there are two or more players with the same number of words or the same length words then the bonus points are negated.
I have adapted this game when playing with some students. I still use the same rules, that is, players receive the same number of cards and have to develop words over eight rounds. However, I want students to participate and not feel alienated due to their limited vocabulary and spelling skills. These are my adaptations to the Quiddler rules.
1. Start with the cards face up. WHY? Using this alternative way to play the game, I could include all students regardless of their spelling ability. The game became highly interactive with students helping each other to make words.
2. I could also cover other areas e.g. phonics, starting letter, diagraphs e.g. sh, th, etc, diphthongs i.e. ou, ea, etc.
4. I introduced the ask a friend option into the game. Any player, when it was their turn, could ask any other player, this included either myself or the tutor, for assitance with developing words. NO points were ever deducted for this assitance, because the aim of the game was to have a positive and successful experience with spelling.
5. Any word that any player hadn't previously heard had to be recorded in an indexed note book or their spell checker. They then had to find and record the meaning using either a hard copy or online dictionary. The online dictionary assisted with pronunciation and this was a great way to refresh memory, particularly if they finding the meaning the next day.
There are a number of learning outcomes that can be achieved from playing Quiddler. The most obvious being an improvement in spelling accuracy and strategies. There are also incidental learning outcomes though that weren't on the horizon when I first started playing the game. Here is a list of these outcomes-
> improved dictionary skills
> students learnt alphabetical order
> communication skills improved due to the interactive aspects of the game
> improved word recognition
> increased vocabulary due to word usage
> basic number facts improved due to scoring duties
> confidence using words or attempting to spell words in their writing.
There was always a fun element when playing this game and the learning happened along the way.