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Scrabble Island

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Phyllis Ranson from Holland, Michigan, submitted this cool spelling game!  1-5

Background: This game was adapted from a Great Activities Newspaper game called “Treasure Island” by Ed Rajkowski and Sharee Rask. We have used this adaptation to integrate spelling words and anagrams with our upper elementary students.


- One large mat in the center of the room (Island)
- Four smaller mats for team “game boards”
- Sponges with letters (like “Scrabble” tiles)
- Pinnies or vests for the taggers


Set-Up: This is a fun and challenging tag game. Select two players to be the Taggers. The rest of the class is divided into four groups and assigned to one of four “game boards” (mats in the corners of the gym). In the center of the gym is “Scrabble Island,” which is covered with letter sponges and is guarded by the two Taggers.

Prep/Advance Planning: I went to a dollar store and bought enough sponges for two complete sets of Scrabble letters. I used a permanent marker to write the letter and point value on each sponge.

Number of Letters: A Scrabble set contains 9 A’s, 2 B’s, 2 C’s, 4 D’s, 12 E’s, 2 F’s, 3 G’s, 2 H’s, 9 I’s, 1 J, 1 K, 4 L’s, 2 M’s, 6 N’s, 8 O’s, 2 P’s, 4 S’s, 6 T’s, 4 U’s, 2 V’s, 2 W’s, 1 X, 2 Y’s, 1 Z, and 2 blanks.

Number of Points Per Letter: A-1, B-3, C-3, D-2, E-1, F-4, G-2, H-4, I-1, J-8, K-5, L-1, M-3, N-1, O-1, P-3, Q-10, R-1, S-1, T-1, U-1, V-4, W-4, X-8, Y-4, Z-10.

How We Play It: The players in each group number off. On the signal, the first player from each island will leave their mat and try to get one letter (sponge) from “Scrabble Island” and return to their mat without being tagged. Each runner then touches the hand of the next person (as in a relay) and that player runs. This continues until all of the letters have been removed from Scrabble Island.

A player who is tagged when off the Board (mat) must return the letter to Scrabble Island. If they do not have a letter, they go back to their mat and tag the next player.

When all of the letters are gone, the teams try to spell as many words as they can with the sponges that they have. As in the game of Scrabble, words may connect (i.e., “Most” and “Many”) by sharing common letters.

Keeping Score: Each letter has a point value in the corner of the sponge for easy reference. Each team keeps track of their own score after each round is over. To begin a new round, select two new taggers and return the letters to the center mat.

Scrabble Rules: You can find a full explanation of Scrabble rules on-line at www.the or the official Hasbro website.


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