Vocabulary Cash

I try to push in to as many classes as I can when targeting language skills. It helps with generalization towards curriculum and also I can see what areas are challenging to my students speech/language skills. When I am in the classroom I become a station in the reading rotation. While the students are at my station I can target a variety of speech/language goals within one group. For example while working on reading vocabulary, we can target articulation, grammar, expressive language, context clues, affixes, and social language skills. It is a great way to service many different students in one setting. It is very helpful if administration can place several speech students into one classroom.

One game that my students love to play at my reading stations is Vocabulary Cash. This game is similar to the millionaire game but with less money and the students loose cash for incorrect answers.



Each student receives an allotted amount of $100 bills of play money (you can pick up the large bills at the Dollar Tree) and three helper cards. The cards say “Give Me A Letter”, “Ask A Friend”, and “Give Me 2”. We usually play this game with a multiple choice, fill in the blank, or matching worksheet. When “Give A Letter” card is used, the teacher or SLP gives the student the first letter that the answer starts with. When “Ask A Friend” card is used, the student can ask a friend at the table. The student does not have to use the friend’s answer and the friend is not penalized if they are incorrect. When “Give Me 2” card is used, the teacher or SLP narrows the choices down to two.

The rules are pretty simple: when it is the student’s turn they can answer the question or use a card to help them answer the question. If they get it wrong then they loose $100 from their bank. If they are not sure, they can use a Helper card before answering. The player with the most money at the end wins. Each Helper card that a player still has can be counted as $100 towards the final total.

I have found the students enjoy working on vocabulary while playing this game. The materials are inexpensive and it gets everyone involved.

Here is how I use this activity to target different groups:

ARTICULATION: While the student is reading and answering questions, I am listening for good speech skills. If they use their targeted sound correctly when it is their turn, I mark the top of their paper with a small dot. At the end of the station. I tally how many dots they have to see how accurate their speech was that session.

GRAMMAR: Again while students are answering questions or asking for help, I can monitor their sentence structure and use of the correct parts of speech. I mark a small dot on top of their paper when I hear them use good grammar skills. I am able to get a tally at the end to monitor their progress.

EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE: Students have to be able to clearly answer the question and ask others for assistance. If they were successful, I mark their paper for tallying later.

CONTEXT CLUES/AFFIXES: While focusing on vocabulary, it is helpful to teach students how to become Vocabulary Detectives by using context clues and affixes. Before a student answers or ask for help, I will prompt them to use these skills to try to find the answer on their own. A small dot is used for correct answers and using their detective skills.

SOCIAL LANGUAGE SKILLS: Many students struggle working in groups and asking for assistance when necessary. These skills can be targeted during this activity. The students get a small dot on their paper if they are demonstrating appropriate social skills in the group including asking for help, helping other students, and patiently waiting until it is their turn to speak.

I hope you find this activity helpful in your push in or pull out therapy. Vocabulary Cash is easy to use to target many different goals. Data collection and monitoring can be efficiently done while the activity is being completed. If you have any other suggestions on how else you could use this activity, I would love to hear from you.

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