Scrabble

Scrabble is more than just a letter game, it’s also great for building your skills as a mathematician. To win, you'll need to strategise and work out which is the best word to make, and where is the best place to put it. 

If you don't have Scrabble – or you love word games so much that you'd like more options – Upwords can also help your child develop the same skills.

1 hour

5-6, 7-8, 9-10

07 March 2021

Things you need

  • 2+ players
  • Scrabble board game
 
 
 

The challenge

Step 1

Scrabble is a great way to play with quantities. The object of the game is to create words out of the letters that you draw. Which letters you use and where you place them on the game board will score you different points. Not every letter is equal in value.

 
 
 

Step 2

As you’re playing and creating your words, talk through your selections and encourage your child to do the same. For example, you might be stuck with a lot of letters with a value of one point, and getting a good score might be tricky.

 
 
 

Step 3

Continue playing and having fun until someone becomes the Scrabble champion!

 
 
 

The conversation

As you're playing, ask your child these questions to get them thinking deeper about the mathematical ideas that underpin the game:

  • "Oh, I think your score for that word is going to be pretty good. What strategies could we use to work out your score together?"
  • "Before you put that final tile down, if you put that word on a different place on the board would you get a higher or lower score?"
  • "I really want an S, what are the chances that I'll get one? How many are already on the board?"
  • "I have a Q, should I wait for a U? Do you think I will be able to use it?"