Scramble is a word game that I start each class with. Students cannot play the game unless they are in their seat and have a pencil/pen and their science notebook open with a dated entry. I begin by giving students a series of letters to a word (or words) that is scrambled. After they have all of the letters, I will tell them how many words it is and where the words split.

For Example:


There are three words and they split after 4 and 10 letters

(That's 4 from the beginning and 10 from the beginning)

Students may then ask for certain letters as clues

For Example:

The first letter of the first word is D

The object of the game is to figure out what the scrambled letters correctly unscramble into. The student who figures it out first yells out "SCRAMBLE!". If they are correct, they can sign the list at the front of the room and will receive a small piece of candy at the end of the month. If they are wrong, they cannot guess again for that day. The winner of the most SCRAMBLES of the month wins a large candy bar.

The words for the first half of the year will unscramble into an animal. The second half of the year, we'll learn about plants. After the scramble is figured out, all students should write the scrambled word in their notes and the following information is obtained from the Internet for an open-note quiz in the future:

Common Name(s)

Scientific Names

Fun Facts to Know and Tell  

Class discussion notes

I have found this to be a great way to start each class, without having to say "OK. Open your notes. Take out your pencil. Put the date on top of the page. Write this down." It also forces students to be organized.

Here's a few of my favorite sites for scramble words:

The Electronic Zoo ....National Wildlife Federation.....    Plants National Database.....Gardenmart

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