“Mister Ben went to Master Paul only to find a Doctor who was busy treating Miss Sharon.”
Imagine having to write the full forms every time you address an individual leaving you confused with the language. However, that is not the everyday language we use because no one wants to overcomplicate normal conversation. That’s exactly when abbreviations come into the picture.
Common abbreviations are a way to communicate in a precise and quick manner. While abbreviations seem simple, students might get confused with their usage during their young learning age.
When children understand the usage of abbreviations in written communication, they are more likely to explore the topic with the zeal to learn. It can be a difficult task as abbreviations look similar but are different in application. Hence, it is important to note that children learn at different paces, and incorporating creativity into the teaching process can make all the difference.
Interesting games and activities for teaching common abbreviations can create positive reinforcement in little learners. However, you do not have to keep spending hours searching for the right games and activities as we’ve got you covered. In this article, you will find some interesting ideas with their methods and benefits to introduce and equip students with this little complicated yet useful subject matter.
Interesting games and activities to teach common abbreviations
Innovative teaching methods help create an effective learning environment where students feel comfortable sharing doubts and raising queries. Imagine the fun and curiosity you can develop in students through games and activities. Find below the list of fun activities to get started with your lesson on abbreviations.
1. Who is Who?
Kids can be confused with references to abbreviations since they are similar. At times, they might also misinterpret the meaning. Hence, this game helps create fun learning in a challenging environment.
- For this game, have placards and print pictures of many people
- These placards should have pictures of different doctors, males, and females
- For a twist, also have pictures of different animals and birds
- Now, show a placard and ask which abbreviation fits the best with it
- For example, if it is a lady, kids should say – Ms., and if it is an animal, they should say – no abbreviation
- The student who says it’s all right wins the game
When kids understand the application of abbreviations with pictures, they are more likely to remember the learning. You may also have many other pictures of objects for the second level of the game.
2. Saga of Sentences!
Many abbreviations are used in everyday language and this game focuses on allowing students to make sentences with them. It also helps them explore their meanings and application.
- For this activity, divide the students into teams
- Assign them an abbreviation
- Both teams get 1 minute to speak as many sentences as them
- The team to form a higher number of sentences wins the game
While students learn about common abbreviations, it can also be a sentence-building activity. It fosters critical thinking skills as students think quickly for scoring better than other teams.
3. Face Off!
Students learn better when they are given the authority to ask questions. The fun game helps students develop leadership skills in a challenging environment.
- For this game, make two teams and let them face each other
- Now, Team A reads aloud the full forms, and Team B is supposed to give the correct abbreviation for it
- For example, team A says Doctor, and Team B should say Dr. in a quick manner
- Allow teams 1 minute and note the scores
- Have different face-offs and declare the winner at the end
As students get an opportunity to challenge the opposing team, it boosts their confidence and knowledge about the subject matter. It also helps with team building and communication in young learners.
4. Two Magnet Boxes!
Teaching the full form of abbreviations is equally crucial to foster absolute understanding in young learners. The game focuses on building knowledge retention skills by matching pairs correctly.
- For this activity, have two boxes where one box should have abbreviations and the other should have the full forms
- Divide the students into teams of 2 members each
- Now, one student shall have one box while the other should have the remaining box
- Make sure all abbreviations are attached with a magnet so as to stick on the board
- Now, the first student picks a full form and sticks it
- In response to this, the opposite team member needs to quickly find the suitable abbreviation and stick it against the full form
- The team which completes the highest number of pairs in the minimum time wins the game
As the game involves working in teams, students learn to coordinate and accept opinions. They also get to learn, make mistakes, and rectify them in real-time.
5. Hear me Out!
Active listening skills play a major role in this game as students need to hear and identify abbreviations smartly. It is focused on improving their mental ability to spot abbreviations quickly.
- For this activity, have as many sentences that include full forms of the abbreviation
- Now, divide the students into teams of 2 each
- Read out the sentence and the team needs to spot the abbreviation in it
- For example, these are the following sentences
- My feet feel cold
- Mister Harry came to school
- Can I talk to Doctor D’Souza?
- Make it a time-paced activity for a minute and calculate scores
- Reward the team that answers the maximum number of right abbreviations
The game allows students to quickly spot many words which can be written as abbreviations. To make it challenging, use the names of weeks, days, and other commonly used abbreviations.
6. Partner Partner!
Abbreviations are easy to learn however, the right medium helps maximize retention in kids. This activity boosts creative learning in a time paced environment.
- Ask students to stand in a circle facing each other
- Now, have different flashcards and distribute one to each
- One set of flashcards should have the abbreviation and the other should have the picture associated with it
- Play the music and let students dance
- As the music stops, students should show their flashcards and find their partner
- For example, the student with the Dr. abbreviation flashcards needs to partner with a student with a picture of a doctor on flashcards
- Once done, the pair should say Partner Partner! to indicate that they have found the pair
As many students get involved in the play, they are likely to take time in finding the pair. You can also go for different rounds by playing music after even one minute.
7. Act it Out!
Creativity knows no boundary and this topic also requires some to make it interesting for students. This activity focuses on realistic learning where students get to learn about the reasons.
- For this activity, ask students to dress up as an abbreviation
- Students can dress up as a female, a male, or a doctor
- Now, ask them to act out and speak a few lines as to why that abbreviation suits them the best
- For example, students may say the following
- Ms. fits me well because I am a female. I have long hair. I also like to wear nice dresses and color my nails.
- Similarly, they can talk about the features of the other abbreviations and their roles
Through this activity, students get an opportunity to explore the characteristics of two different genders and a profession. They also understand common differences and similarities thereby creating an inclusive environment.
8. Category of Categories
Abbreviations can be divided into various categories to help students learn better. With this activity, students get to know how many different words can have unique abbreviations along with their application.
- For this activity, inform students that abbreviations belong to different categories
- Divide the abbreviations according to people, days, week, and month for an instance
- Now, ask them to make 3 placards and write the categories on them
- Read aloud the abbreviation and students should raise the placard that matches with it
- For example, if you say Jan, they should show the placard depicting the month category
In this way, students get an understanding of abbreviations along with the category they belong to. The activity can be conducted in a quick manner to keep it challenging.
9. Abbreviation Bingo!
With so many abbreviations, students often get puzzled so nothing better than Bingo to help them explore the topic. The activity focuses on developing characteristics of critical thinking in a time paced environment.
- For this activity, ask students to make a 5×5 table on a sheet of paper
- Give them a list of full forms for which abbreviations should be formed
- Now, let them write different abbreviations in the 25 boxes on the sheet
- Different abbreviations related to days, weeks, and people can be used here
- Now, read aloud any abbreviation and students should start ticking off in the box
- When any one line (vertical, horizontal, or diagonal) of abbreviations is fully ticked, students should shout Bingo!
A fun activity like Bingo allows students to be thoughtful while ticking off any box. If they do it wrong, they might miss out on building the line thereby allowing them to rectify the errors later.
10. Memory Saga!
A fun-filled activity that tests the memory of students is all that you need when teaching abbreviations. With this, young learners develop curiosity while attempting to memorize it all.
- For this activity, have different flashcards and write abbreviations on them
- Make sure each abbreviation is written twice making it a pair (Mr – Mr)
- Now, let students stand in a circle facing each other
- Everyone should hold the flashcard in their hands
- Say Show and everyone shows their abbreviation for 4 to 5 seconds
- After this, every student passes the card to the succeeding classmate
- Allow students 1 minute to think if they have found the pair
- If not, repeat till everyone finds the pair
While students keep searching for their cards, they also memorize how cards are passed on from one person to another. Usage of such visual sequential memory games and activities helps with knowledge retention and understanding.
As students learn the concept of abbreviations, games, and activities help them master the topic. Teachers and parents can make use of these creative ideas to offer a fun learning platform. By incorporating games, students get an opportunity to compete only to learn better. Activities also help them with realistic situations where they learn the application of various abbreviations.
Different games and activities play an active role in building a child’s overall language development. It also equips students with the necessary language and vocabulary skills. With an engaging learning environment, learners are more likely to acquire essential skills including creativity, a positive attitude, and time management.
I am Shweta Sharma. I am a final year Masters student of Clinical Psychology and have been working closely in the field of psycho-education and child development. I have served in various organisations and NGOs with the purpose of helping children with disabilities learn and adapt better to both, academic and social challenges. I am keen on writing about learning difficulties, the science behind them and potential strategies to deal with them. My areas of expertise include putting forward the cognitive and behavioural aspects of disabilities for better awareness, as well as efficient intervention. Follow me on LinkedIn