Roll-A-Word Vocabulary Game (Rules and How to Play) 

Kids today need engaging activities to learn new skills effectively. When it comes to vocabulary instruction, nothing is less engaging than looking up words in a dictionary. Roll-A-Word Vocabulary is a great way to include instruction through interactive play. 

Reading is one of the best ways children can organically learn new words, but often times students need explicit practice with specific vocabulary words to help them learn a topic of study. 

This Roll-A-Word Vocabulary Game rules guide will cover the following:

  • What is the Roll-A-Word Vocabulary Game?
  • What you’ll need to play Roll-A-Word Vocabulary Game
  • Roll-A-Word Vocabulary Game Rules
  • How to play Roll-A-Word Vocabulary Game (Video Tutorial)
  • FAQs

Read on to learn how to play Roll-A-Word Vocabulary Game.

What is the Roll-A-Word Vocabulary Game?

Roll-A-Word Vocabulary Game Info

Students use dice or number cubes to practice a variety of vocabulary learning techniques to help them explore new vocabulary words and their uses. 

Number of Players: 1+

Ages: 6+

Difficulty: Easy

Length of Play: 15-20 minutes

Category: Educational learning games 

Similar to: Scrabble Junior Rules, Fly Swatter Game, Sparkle Spelling Game

Main Objective: Individuals or teams roll their die until they have landed on each of the six sides and have explored unique practices to develop vocabulary knowledge.

Why We Love It: Adding a die enhances routine practice exercises into a fun and lively game that will have students eager to learn new vocabulary words.

What You’ll Need to Play Roll-A-Word Vocabulary

Everything you need to play is listed below:

  • 6-sided number cubes/dice
  • Paper or worksheets
  • Pencil
  • Highlighters or crayons
  • Preselected vocabulary words
Roll-A-Word Vocabulary Gameplay

Area of Play

Clear enough space for children to roll their dice. I use the large foam dice because they are colorful and soft, but they are also much quieter than traditional die. 

Students can play this game at a table or on a floor, on teams, or individually.

Option 1: Decide which vocabulary word(s) you want your children to use in advance, and write them on the board or somewhere for the children to see their words easily.

Option 2: Create a deck of vocabulary word cards (you can write them on index cards) and place the deck face-down in the middle of your playing area. Children will draw a word card prior to rolling their die. 

Vocabulary image

Roll-A-Word Vocabulary Rules

Once each student has collected their materials, they are ready to begin! 

Each side of the number cube represents an individual activity aimed at developing vocabulary development. 

You can create your own template or use a pre-made worksheet like this one from Literacy in Focus

When a student rolls the following numbers, they complete the corresponding activity with their selected vocabulary word: 

  1. Write the definition of the word. 
  2. Use the word in a sentence.
  3. Draw a picture to represent the meaning of the word.
  4. Write a synonym for the word. 
  5. Connect the word to something in your life. 
  6. Write an antonym for the word. 

I always tell my students that if they land on a number that they have previously done, to keep rolling until they land on a new number. The kids never complain about rolling the die again!


If the student has selected the word temperature, their answers might look something like this: 

  1. The degree of heat or cold when measured by a thermometer.
  2. My mom takes my temperature when I am sick.
  3. (Students may draw images of sun, ice, or a thermometer.) 
  4. Climate, or level of heat
  5. I check the temperature outside, so I know if I need to wear a jacket.
  6. Level of coldness, frozen

Helpful Tips:

  • Use a classroom timer to allot a specific time frame for gameplay. The timer signals the end of the activities and helps children know when to stop and clean up. 
  • Establish ground rules in advance, especially for rolling the dice. If children are given large foam dice, they are likely to throw them instead of rolling them. Without rules set in place, players will likely be running around the room to find their die. 
  • If using a traditional die, you can contain them in small, clear plastic boxes so they won’t roll onto the floor. This keeps the activity more manageable and also much quieter! 
Roll-A-Word Vocabulary Area of Play

How to Keep Score in Roll-A-Word Vocabulary

In my experience, the students do not need scoring to benefit from this fun learning game. They simply enjoy the challenge of rolling the die and learning about new words.

For an added challenge, you can incorporate a scoring system for Roll-a-Word vocabulary in several ways. Players can earn points for each correctly completed exercise within a specific time frame. 

Players can also earn points for completing the exercises for multiple vocabulary words. 

Each activity counts as 1 point, so the first player to reach 6 points wins!

How to Play Roll-A-Word Vocabulary – Video Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do you practice vocabulary in a fun way? 

There are many fun ways to learn new vocabulary words. Roll-a-Word is one fun game to play to practice new vocabulary words. You can also use digital flashcards on websites such as Quizlet to play games using vocabulary words, examples, and definitions. 

What games improve vocabulary? 

Activities that involve reading and listening will strengthen word knowledge and vocabulary development for children of all ages. Games such as Roll-a-Word vocabulary and other word games such as Scrabble and crossword puzzles also improve vocabulary. 

How do you play word games in the classroom? 

Word games like crossword puzzles can be played individually, with partners, or in small groups. Other games like Scrabble can be played in small groups as a reward or incentive to make good grades, complete assignments, or follow school rules.

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