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Spell Trek

Spell Trek

2-4 players • 30 min • 6 & up

Regular price $34.00
Regular price Sale price $34.00
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You're off on a road trip around the world, but some of our favorite animals are missing some vowels. Keep your adventure headed in the right direction by putting the animal letters back where they belong.

Skills Focus: Vowels, Spelling

Game Includes

  • 1 Game Board
  • 4 Adventure Vehicles
  • 34 Vowel Tiles
  • 60 Word Cards
  • 1 Discard Tray
  • 1 Rules Booklet

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How to Play

Players use vowel tiles to complete word cards and continue around the gameboard. The first player to advance to the end of the gameboard wins.

Educational Standards

Core Standard*: Language

Reading
Informational Text
Craft & Structure Grade Level K
Foundational Skills
Phonological Awareness Grade Levels K, 1st
Phonics & Word Recognition Grade Levels K, 1st
Speaking and Listening
Comprehension & Collaboration Grade Levels K, 1st
Language
Conventions of Standard English Grade Levels K, 1st
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use Grade Levels K, 1st

Skills

Explore

What Does Child Do To Use Skill In The Game?
Players explore cards of other players, as well as their own.

How Parents Can Assist Learning
Educators can encourage children to look at all the cards on the table when it is their turn. Also, allow children to walk around the game table so they can see the words right side up.

Learning Implications and Educator Support
Educators can encourage children to look at all the cards on the table when it is their turn. Also, allow children to walk around the game table so they can see the words right side up.

Determine

What Does Child Do To Use Skill In The Game?
Players determine what letters are missing from their word.

How Parents Can Assist Learning
Parents can help children determine missing letters by having the child identify the picture and then sound out the word. What letter or letters sound like they are missing?

Learning Implications and Educator Support
Children will be learning spelling, particularly with vowels, and phonics as they play Spell Trek. Educators can help children determine missing letters by having the child identify the picture and then sound out the word. For example, say the word "frog" or "hippo". What letter or letters sound like they are missing? Can the child tell the difference between the "o" sound in frog and hippo?

Compare

What Does Child Do To Use Skill In The Game?
Players need to compare their word cards with other players' word cards to see if their unused letter will fill a vowel spot on one of the other players' cards. They also compare Vowel Tiles to blanks on their Word Cards.

How Parents Can Assist Learning
Remind children to examine all the options, including Word Cards with more letters and the Word Cards of other players, to see which is the best choice. For example, if they choose a card with a bonus option, they may be able to get more points.
If children make a mistake, parents can show them the correct tile. Have the child make the sound of the correct and the incorrect letters in an effort to help learn the auditory differences between them.


Learning Implications and Educator Support
Remind children to examine all the options, including Word Cards with more letters and the Word Cards of other players, to see which is the best choice. For example, if they choose a card with a bonus option, they may be able to get more points.
If children make a mistake, educators can show them the correct tile. Have the child make the sound of the correct and the incorrect letters in an effort to help learn the auditory differences between them.


Remember

What Does Child Do To Use Skill In The Game?
Players need to remember how to spell the word as they move the token on the board. They can also try to remember where replaced vowels are located in the draw area.

How Parents Can Assist Learning
When children choose a card that rhymes with or is similar to a previous word, the parent can ask them to spell the previous. Parents can also provide memory clues for children when they replace a tile. For example, "I'm going to put this 'e' at the end of this row.

Learning Implications and Educator Support
Spell Trek helps children remember and reinforce spelling for 60 words.When children choose a card that rhymes with or is similar to a previous word, the educator can ask them to spell the previous. Educators can also provide memory clues for children when they replace a tile. For example, "I'm going to put this 'e' at the end of this row.

Practice

What Does Child Do To Use Skill In The Game?
The game is intended to provide practice in associating vowel sounds with familiar words.

How Parents Can Assist Learning
Children will be learning spelling, particularly with vowels, and phonics as they play Spell Trek.Having the child to spell the words while moving the token also gives the child practice in spelling the word aloud. The combination of visual and auditory repetition enhances memory.

Learning Implications and Educator Support
Children will be learning spelling, particularly with vowels, and phonics as they play Spell Trek.Having the child to spell the words while moving the token also gives the child practice in spelling the word aloud. The combination of visual and auditory repetition enhances memory.

Solve

What Does Child Do To Use Skill In The Game?
Players find missing vowels in words, thus completing a word.

How Parents Can Assist Learning
Parents can provide clues if children cannot figure out the missing vowel. For instance, sound out the word emphasizing the vowel sound.

Learning Implications and Educator Support
Educators can provide clues if children cannot figure out the missing vowel. For instance, sound out the word emphasizing the vowel sound. Educators can also reinforce the use of spelling rules, for instance the silent 'e' at the end of the word make the long vowel sound.

Review

What Does Child Do To Use Skill In The Game?
Players may review if encouraged. See Implications for Learning and Adult Support.

How Parents Can Assist Learning
Having children spell the word aloud as they move their Vehicle Pawn is a form of review. Parents can reinforce the review process by asking children to spell the word again before they discard the letter and the picture card.

Learning Implications and Educator Support
For educators, having children say and spell the word aloud will give you opportunities to identify and remediate any phonics, word construction, pronunciation, spelling or vocabulary issues. For example, help children sound out the word accurately, if needed. In particular, support children in making the proper vowel sound, such as a soft "a" or a hard "a".

Demonstrate

What Does Child Do To Use Skill In The Game?
Players demonstrate spelling skills as they move their token.

How Parents Can Assist Learning
Help children sound out the word accurately, if needed. In particular, support children in making the proper vowel sound, such as a soft "a" or a hard "a".

Learning Implications and Educator Support
For educators, having children say and spell the word aloud will give you opportunities to identify and remediate any phonics, word construction, pronunciation, spelling or vocabulary issues. For example, help children sound out the word accurately, if needed. In particular, support children in making the proper vowel sound, such as a soft "a" or a hard "a".


*Data compiled from CCSSI ELA Standards, WA Science Standards, and Washington Social Studies Standards

Special Needs

Cognitive

Suggestions for How to Modify Play Experience
There are 18 three-letter words in the set of cards. Remove these and play with just these cards for children who are just learning sight words and vowel sounds. You can add in the four-letter words with only one vowel after the three-letter words are mastered.
For children who are not yet at the reading level, children can learn that print has meaning. Eliminate the vowels from play and just use the pictures. Adults can ask children to identify the thing in the picture and then say, "That's what this word says! Pig! See it starts with the pp sound. "When the child picks another card the adults says, "What do you think this word says on this picture?" If the child is wrong, the adult comments and then corrects, "It is an ocean, but the words says, 'sea'. It starts with the ss sound."

Communication

Suggestions for How to Modify Play Experience
As an alteration to the game, before players take a turn they must state something they know about the thing they have just spelled.

Sensorimotor

Suggestions for How to Modify Play Experience
The player pawns are small and difficult for children with fine motor concerns to manipulate. Substitute something solid that is easier to hold. For instance, use an empty pill bottle with a child-proof lid filled with dirt, sand or water.

Social Emotional/Behavioral

Suggestions for How to Modify Play Experience
Remove and use only the cards that require two vowels. Children play in teams, with each child in the team filling in one letter.

Vision

Suggestions for How to Modify Play Experience
Some vision impaired children may be able to see the single animal on the card. If not another child can name the animal draw.
Let the child use Braille letters or create larger vowel letters that the child can pick up to show what vowel is needed.

Hearing

Suggestions for How to Modify Play Experience
Have child sign the word when completed and to sign the letters as they move along the board.

*Data compiled from CCSSI ELA Standards, WA Science Standards, and Washington Social Studies Standards

Autism

For some children who are very interested in letters and reading Spell Trek is a great game for them. The game involves finding the right vowels to complete words and then moving down the path on the board the number of spaces corresponding to the number of letters in the word formed. The game requires examining not only the potential words in a players hand, but also the word cards in other players hands. This aspect of the game encourages children with autism to expand their thinking to include others' possibilities. Keep in mind that children may be good at figuring out words, but may not understand the related meaning. Make sure when a word is spelled, players talk about the word and use it in a meaningful sentence.

Autism Strengths & Interests

Short Summary of Strengths & Interests

  • Interested in letters and reading.
  • Can examine the game pieces of other players to find the best solution.
  • Likes to activities based on clear rules such as phonics and spelling.

Is good at matching visual items

This game is not appropriate

Has a good memory for sensory details, including visual, touch, taste and smell

This game is not appropriate

Has a good memory for words, phrases and dialouge

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
Spell Trek involves finding the right vowels to complete words and then moving down the path on the board the number of spaces corresponding to the number of letters in the word formed. Therefore, children who enjoy word recognition and have a good memory for spelling will be able to use those skills playing the game.

Has a good memory for pictures, numbers and patterns

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
Spell Trek involves vowel patterns, namely, the ability to recall which vowels are included in simple 3 to 5 letter words. Children who not only remember the words but also how the vowels fit into the words will be able to successfully play Spell Trek.

Likes to put things in order or a sequence

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
Children may enjoy putting things in sequences, including spelling words. Children can hone this interest playing Spell Trek as they look for spaces to place letter tiles to make complete words. Moving their car on the game board as they count out their score is another opportunity for children to sequence an activity.

Learns through visualizing or "replaying" actions in their mind

This game is not appropriate

Likes activities with rules, such as math and phonics

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
Spell Trek is based, in part, on phonics rules. If children are good at sounding out words, they will draw on that ability as they look for spots to play their vowel tiles in order to correctly spell words.

Is very concrete and literal

This game is not appropriate

Learns in small "chunks" (for example, phone numbers are 3 chunks of number xxx-xxx-xxxx that are combined together)

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
Some children learn by "chunks", e.g. they assemble information into a single concept and then combine that with other concepts to create and/or remember something more complex. In Spell Trek, they can use this ability to learn and use vowel/consonant combinations.

Is good at nonverbal reasoning and logic

This game is not appropriate

Likes spatial problem solving

This game is not appropriate

Can read well with good vocabulary, though may not fully comprehend content

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
Some children with autism are strong at vocabulary and memorizing words. Keep in mind that these children may be good at figuring out words, but may not understand the related meaning. Make sure when a word is spelled, players talk about the word and use it in a meaningful sentence.

Likes to use and has good fine motor skill

This game is not appropriate

Likes established routines or set ways of doing things

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
Description VERBIAGE GOES HERE

Likes manipulating, constructing or building things

This game is not appropriate

Likes to use and has good musical abilities

This game is not appropriate

Likes to use and has good drawing skills

This game is not appropriate


Autism Special Considerations

Appears to ignore other's communication and/or has difficulty giving eye contact to a communication partner

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Sit at an angle to the child, so direct eye contact is not needed.

Look at the game instead of each other.

Person talking holds the object being talked about near their mouth to bring the child's attention to the object. This also shows the child how the words about the object are produced. For example, hold the picture on a game card up by the mouth, and say the name of the object on the card.

Rather than speak, sing communication between turns or when giving short directions. Music attracts the child's attention and interest.

Use unusual or exaggerated inflection to begin a communication about the game. This attracts the child's attention.

Has difficulty understanding complex verbal directions

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Break down directions into small steps. Don't go through all the directions at once.

Combine short verbal instructions with visual and physical examples of each step.

Use hand-over hand guidance if needed, so children feel the actions as the directions are being given. This helps develop the child's memory for the correct movements.

Gradually reduce the support as the game is learned.

Check for comprehension by asking the child to show you what to do next.

Uses vocabulary inaccurately or demonstrates echolalia (repeating another's speech)

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? No

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Children with autism may perseverate on a specific word. Change their "topic" by holding up a word card and asking what the picture is on the card.

Respond to immediate echolalia (repeating what was just said) by rephrasing the child's response into a correct format, so the child can hear and repeat that phrase. For example, assume you are playing with a child named Andy and you say, "Your turn," and Andy repeats, "Your turn." You can say, "It's Andy's turn. You say, my turn." This allows the child to hear and repeat the correct response. Eventually, the child will pick up the pattern of response.

Delayed echolalia (repetition of previously heard comments) may have a hidden meaning or association. Look for connection in the phrase used to the current situation. For example, the child says, "After these messages we'll be right back!" Think what the repeated phrase is associated with for the child. Try to interpret what is meant and rephrase it for the child. For example, you might respond by saying, "It sounds like you want a break for a few minutes. Is that what you mean? You can tell me, 'I need a break.'"

Gets stuck repeating a verbal topic or physical actions and/or has difficulty attending to others' actions or topic.

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Practice phrases for commenting on others' play actions. For example, you say to Joe (who is playing with you), "Right on! You spelled lion." Then ask the child, "What did Joe do? "

Remind children about listening and watching others' before making their own comment or action.

Practice turn-taking in conversation. Use a cue, such as a touch on the shoulder, if needed.

Use a motivation toy or object to gain the child's attention. For example, a preferred wind-up toy can be placed on the board when it is the child's turn. The child gets to wind up the toy after completing their turn.

Use the child's finger to point to what needs attention. They will attend to their finger first, and then the adult can label the object they are pointing at.

Extend the child's action to make a correct response. For example, if the child if the child completes a word card, point to the number on the card, and say, "Now you can move your camera 4 spaces.

Reinforce attention and actions by commenting on what was done correctly. For example, "You remembered where the letter a was placed. Good for you!"

Has difficulty producing speech/communication

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? No

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Use augmentative communication, such as picture cards. For example, a picture of person pointing to another person means "your turn."

Use gestures and sign language to illustrate actions or concepts. For example, the child could use finger spelling to spell out the words.

Provide at least 10 seconds wait time for the child to process or produce responses. It may take longer to formulate a thought or response for children with special needs.

Has difficulty sequencing multi-step actions and/or doing complex abstract tasks

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? No

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Use physical actions to walk through steps numerous times, with less support for the final step each time. This is called "shaping." For example, walk through the steps of what happens when a word is not completed and what happens when a word is completed.

Use specific cue words to let the child know what is next. For example, "That's the right vowel. You need on

Demonstrates difficulty initiating and maintaining social interactions

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Develop a social story to be read at the start of a game. A social story is a short booklet that illustrates how a child can use positive social skills. It includes two to five descriptive statements and a directive statement. For example: "When I watch others, I will know when it is my turn. Others like me when I take turns. I will watch what others do with their pieces and listen to what they say. Others like it when I talk about the game." Add photos or drawings of the child doing the actions described in the story.

Role play social situations and reinforce appropriate words and actions. For example, role play commenting on another player's turn. For instance, "Look Justin spelled his word. What word did he spell?"

Use video feedback of positive social behaviors. Video of actual play enables children to see what they or others did. Appropriate actions and interactions can then be discussed.

Acts out or demonstrates avoidance behaviors when frustrated, overwhelmed, or needs more sensory input.

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? No

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
A weighted vest worn during the game may provide additional pressure input and thus reduce fidgeting due to sensory needs. Pressure can be calming when used for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

Practice a phrase to ask for help and role play situations in the game where it is needed.

Provide techniques for self-calming, such as holding a special toy.

Allow time for movement. For example, a child who needs to move frequently can be given an opportunity to 'celebrate' their turn by running around the table or jumping up and down 10 times.

Has short attention span for non-preferred activities

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Provide a break when needed.

Use "when...then" phrases. For example, "When you take your turn, then I'll let you play with your toy."

Frequently remind the child of the goal of the game. " You are trying to make words."

Incorporate a motivating activity as part of the play. For example, each player gets to manipulate a fun 'fidget' toy, such as a stress ball or squeeze toy.

Needs sameness or consistent routines and/or has difficulty with transitions from one activity to another

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Play games at the same time every day, so the child anticipates the game routine.

Change the location of the game, so the child may play in different rooms, at the table, or on the floor. This will build tolerance for variation.

Prepare the child ahead time for the introduction of a new game. Talk about aspects that will be motivating for the child, and let them explore the parts of the game before setting out the whole game.

Provide a structure for placement of game pieces that can be the same each time the game is played. For example, have a specific location for where the board goes, the pieces, etc.Provide choices for how the child can be involved in set up or clean up. For example, you might ask, "Do you want to line up the vowel tiles or deal out the word cards?"

Involve the child verbally and with actions for the transition to the game table or at the end of game play. For example, you might say, "Let's look at the pictures on the game box and guess what it is about."

Use an object cue. Let the child hold an object from the game or activity you want to introduce prior to the transition. For example, if you were intending to play Spell Trek, you would hand the child a camera marker from the game and say, "Look here is a camera. What game does it go with?"

Has difficulty understanding others' feelings, intentions, and the reasons for others' actions.

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Model and point out what others are feeling and comment on their facial expressions or words.

Discuss what causes feelings in others. For example, "You are happy because you made a word. But, look at Joe's face. He is not happy because the vowel he drew doesn't go with any of his word cards."

Ask child to explain their own feelings and intentions.

Ask child to explain why other players did specific actions in the game. For example, why did Max put his vowel back?"

*Data compiled from CCSSI ELA Standards, WA Science Standards, and Washington Social Studies Standards

Extended Play

Extra Ways to Play the Game
Identify the animal game. First remove all cards that are not animals (e.g., ice, grass, water, etc.). Children pick a card from the pile. The other players ask questions that can be answered by "yes" or "no" to guess what animal they have. Are there five letters in the word? Is the animal large or small? Does the animal live in the water? Children ask questions until they can guess what the animal is.

Materials Needed
No additional materials needed.

Developmental Benefits
Children need to generate yes/no questions. This requires understanding question forms. They also need to be able to think of relevant questions that will help them narrow down the animal. These are language and conceptual skills relevant to logical thinking for all subject areas.

Extra Ways to Play the Game
Vowels are place randomly face down. Children play in turn. Each child can pick up one, two or three vowels. Using the vowels they picked they must make a word. A word with one vowel is worth 1 point, a word with two vowels is worth 4 points and a word with three vowels is worth 9 points. If the child is inaccurate or cannot think of a word, the other players have a chance to try. The first player to come up with a correct word gets the points. The adult(s) in the game judge the accuracy of the words.

Materials Needed
No additional materials needed.

Developmental Benefits
This game requires children to understand different vowel sounds and their placement in words. Skills in understanding vowel sound variations is necessary for developing reading skills.

Extra Ways to Play the Game
Sing Old MacDonald had a farm. When you get to "On his farm he had a…" a child draws a card and says the name of the animal on the card. When the song says, "With a.. Here and … there… here a… there a... everywhere a..." The child has to make up funny sounds or actions that the animal would make. An option to this is for the child to not say the name of the animal, rather to make the sounds or actions and have the other players guess what the animal is.

Materials Needed
No additional materials needed.

Developmental Benefits
This is a silly game building on a familiar song, but adding in an element of charades and/or animal sounds. Children need to remember associated animal sounds or be able to perform actions that will stimulate others to think of the animal. This is a fun social game that should result in lots of giggles.

*Data compiled from CCSSI ELA Standards, WA Science Standards, and Washington Social Studies Standards