Cost: Free (in-app purchases), watch ad videos for extra auto-completes
Platform: App (Google Play Store and Apple Store)
A student actually recommended this game. She loves words and knew I do, too. She also loves texting, and texting speed and vocabulary are the two things that make up the game. The object of the game is to type words that meet a certain requirement before your time runs out (like beginning with the letter k) in order to reach a point goal (usually 100 or 75) . If you can type your word correctly before the time runs out, you earn points. If you reach the target score before your opponent, you win that round. It sounds simple, but it can be tricky to think of the words you know. The level of challenge gets more difficult on hard mode, too. That’s the challenge I choose for myself.
I’ve been playing this game off and on since January when my student told me about it. With my juniors and seniors, I try to do vocabulary and root word activities to help them prepare for the SAT. Tatayana (my student) and I would compare which words we had used and found that the words we’d encountered in recent readings came in handy for earning extra points.
What I like about the game is the instant feedback that is offered. If you start to create a word that doesn’t exist, it turns red. You’re also racing the clock. You do have a chance to delete your letters and try again — you just have to do it before the time runs out. If the time runs out and you haven’t typed a word you do have the option to use an auto-complete if you have any. If you don’t, you get zero points and it’s your opponent’s turn again. Tatayana and I suspect some of the words the computer uses aren’t real words. The game goes too fast to stop and look them up though; it’s unlike Scrabble that lets you challenge your opponent’s word choice. The challenges involving the letters k and g I always lose. I really struggle with k words.
The way the game works does support the Common Core language standard for grades 11 and 12: vocabulary acquisition and use. Can students recognize the impact that changes in words make; for example, if you add -tion to a verb, what change in meaning occurs to the base word? Knowing to add suffixes and prefixes can help earn points in BattleText. Knowing this about words can expand a student’s vocabulary and comprehension of unfamiliar terms when reading or listening.