Expanding the Stick Game

In a previous post I described the very popular Stick Game, which an SLP posted on Speaking of Speech.com years ago.  Made with colored popsicle sticks from the dollar store and stored in an empty Gatorade powdered drink mix container, it would be hard to find a cheaper game to make, yet my students prefer it over the commercial games on my shelf.  I often use this game for articulation practice (“say your word 5 times, then pick a stick”), but have recently begun using a modified version for language and phonological awareness.  I purchased another set of popsicle sticks and divided them into five piles of assorted colors.  Using a Sharpie marker, I write “1” on the end of one group of sticks, “2,” “3,” and “4” on three other groups.  On the remaining group, I write “Pick again,”  “Pass 1 right,”  “Pass 1 left,” and “Put it back” on an equal number of sticks.

These sticks can be used for lots of different gives — just create a “code card” for the skills you want to practice.  For example:

Verb Tense – use with any verb cards:  students will pick a stick, then use the verb in the corresponding tense.  For #4, you say a sentence, the student has to identify the tense.  (control difficulty by using only regular, irregular, or mixed verbs)

  1. 1. Yesterday
  2. 2. Today
  3. 3. Tomorrow
  4. 4. Identify the tense.

Possessive Pronouns – use with any object cards:  students will pick a stick, then use the pronoun with the object pictured, as in “This is his bike.”

  1. 1. His
  2. 2. Her
  3. 3. Their
  4. 4. Your

Asking Questions – provide topic(s) or students choose their own:  students will create a question corresponding to the stick

  1. 1. Who
  2. 2. Where
  3. 3. When
  4. 4. What

Defining/Describing – use with any object cards

  1. 1. Name the category.
  2. 2. Name 3 parts.
  3. 3. Describe with 3 adjectives.
  4. 4. Name 3 functions or actions.

Vocabulary 1 – use with synonym or antonym cards or word lists

  1. 1. Give a synonym.
  2. 2. Give an antonym.
  3. 3. Use the word in a statement.
  4. 4. Use the word in a question.

Vocabulary 2 – use with any noun cards or word list (control difficulty by using only regular, irregular, or mixed nouns). Students will use the word form in a sentence.  For #4, you use the word in a sentence; the student identifies the form.

  1. 1. Use as singular.
  2. 2. Use as plural.
  3. 3. Use as possessive.
  4. 4. Identify the form.

Phonological Awareness – use any word list

  1. 1. What is the beginning sound?
  2. 2. What is the ending sound?
  3. 3. Count the syllables.
  4. 4. Give a rhyming word (real or nonsense)

But wait!  There’s more!  “Miss Speechie,” on her Speech Time Fun blogspot, just posted her spin on the stick game :  Sports Pick-A-Stick, using sports stickers and vocabulary with a color-coded card.  Click here to see it pictured: http://speechtimefun.blogspot.com/2012/04/sports-pick-stick.html.  And it doesn’t stop there!  Jenna Rayburn, on Speech Room News blogspot, uses popsicle sticks in pirate-themed artic game and a French Fry phonological awareness game. Check them out here:http://speechroomnews.blogspot.com/.  Can you think of ways to use popsicle sticks in therapy?  Click on “Comment” above and share your ideas!


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