Family Reunion is the first Word Voyage educational game! Its purpose is to reinforce the meanings of root words and root families in any given Word Voyage lesson. The task in the game is to match each word from the student’s current lesson with the definition of a short word root. This task, which sounds rather mundane, is morphed into a game through music and competition. Each time the student plays the game and matches all of the words correctly, the program records their time and adds it to a speed leaderboard within the class. The spirit of friendly competition drives the students to return to the game over and over to improve their leaderboard placement. Since it would be very challenging for a student without a true understanding of the root definitions to place all of the words quickly, the game drives student learning and mastery.
The teacher has some power to control each student’s leaderboard by creating different leaderboard groups. For example, if half of the students in a class are more advanced than the other students, two different leaderboard groups can be created to ensure that more students have a chance to ‘rank’ on their leaderboard. The goal of a well monitored Word Voyage classroom is for every student to feel they are learning and succeeding.
Family Reunion comes free with all Word Voyage implementations and is an optional activity for students. In its first few weeks of widespread use, student engagement has been high and feedback has been incredibly positive. If your students are already using Family Reunion, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and experiences. If not, check it out, and encourage your students to give it a try!