Word Scramble

Activity Overview

Participants will learn about and practise working in a group to create as many words as possible while performing a variety of fitness activities.

  • Primary (Ages 6-9)
  • Junior (Ages 10-12)


  • Classroom
  • Gymnasium
  • Multipurpose room

Materials and Equipment

  • 34 items with a letter on each (e.g., cards, tennis balls, pool noodle discs).


Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides safe traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Provide a safe distance between activities.

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Divide the participants into small groups (e.g., four to six).
  • Each group has their own space in the activity area.
  • Participants write a letter in marker on each of the objects (e.g., cards, tennis balls, pool noodle discs). Suggested distribution of letters: A, E, S, T − 3 each; I, L, N, O, R, U − 2 each; B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, M, P, − 1 each. This step can also be done in advance to allow more time for the activity.
  • Spread all the items around one end of the activity area a safe distance from the walls. Make sure there are more items than there are participants.

Activity Instructions

  • At the start signal, the first participant in each group retrieves an object.
  • While the rest of the group is waiting, they complete their choice of a physical activity (e.g., jumping jacks, sit-ups, etc.). Participants brainstorm activities as a group prior to the lesson.
  • When a participant brings an object back to the group, he or she chooses a new fitness activity to complete while the next participant in the group retrieves an object.
  • This process is continued until all participants in the group have a letter.
  • The group then tries to spell as many words as possible in 30 seconds while moving on the spot.
  • If a word cannot be spelled with the letters the group has, a group member can exchange their object with another object from the other end of the activity area until a word can be spelled, while the other participants in their group complete a fitness activity.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: When it was your turn to retrieve an object, what strategy did you apply to help your group be successful in this game? Describe one way you worked together with your group in this game.
Word Scramble


To maximize the challenge and the fun, participants could identify their own ways to increase or decrease the challenge.

To decrease the challenge, participants could:

  • Brainstorm a list of familiar words that groups can spell using their objects.
  • Work with the large group to spell words rather than in the smaller groups.

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Use different forms of locomotion (e.g., skipping, galloping) as they move to collect the objects.
  • Collect as many objects as they can within an allotted time and then try to create as many words as possible using all the objects collected.
  • Develop extra challenges related to the words the groups can spell (e.g., spell words that begin with the letter A; spell words that are healthy food choices).

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies to help participants work in a group to create as many words as possible while performing a variety of fitness activities. Note that this list is not exhaustive, and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Body and spatial awareness: using appropriate body parts to move in a specific direction and level while performing different fitness activities

Movement Strategies

  • Applying skills and strategies to quickly and successfully create words (e.g., collecting objects quickly or choosing specific letters)