Word Worms: Spelling or Vocab Game


Challenge yourself and your classmates to come up with new words based on vocabulary or spelling words! This brainstorming session results in colorful art.


1. Play this word game in pairs, small groups, or with the whole class! Begin by creating a setting for your Word Worms. On a large dry-erase board, draw a colorful scene with Crayola Dry-Erase Markers or Dry Erase Crayons. You might draw a ground line with a few plants with staggered roots below ground. Draw a large worm that is crawling.

2. Choose a word from your current vocabulary or spelling list and write it inside the worm. That is the key word for the activity.

3. On each plant, write what type of word will be written on its roots. Use a different color for each category, such as "person," "thing," "related word," "synonym," or "antonym."

4. Fill in as many words on the roots as you can think of for each category. Challenge each other to see who can think of the most words that are appropriate. Simply use a facial tissue to erase and then rewrite.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.


  • Work in pairs and focus on words from a current book.
  • Use the words listed to write poetry, a short story, or an essay.
  • Stumped? Use a dictionary or thesaurus!
  • Try this strategy when learning another language.
  • Assessment: Students will be successful if they design the described format for their words and work together with a partner to prepare an accurate list of words.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Dry-Erase Markers
  • Dry-Erase Crayons
household supplies
  • dry-erase board
  • facial tissues



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Language Arts
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes


  • Students expand their use of vocabulary or spelling words.

  • Students work together to design a challenging game.

  • Students assess the accuracy of each other’s contributions to their word lists.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards