The Navhind Times Planet J’s workshop on scrabble was held on Sunday, July 31 at Dempo House, Panaji. Designed specifically for those between the ages of 11 and 19, the workshop aimed at introducing newcomers to the game and teaching new techniques to those who already play the unique mind sport.
Conducted by Ramola Antao and secretary of Scrabble Association of India, Rajiv Antao, the half day workshop commenced by dividing the sixty two participants whose ages ranged from ten to nineteen into groups, ensuring there was a judicious mix of all ages within each group. Introduction to the game, its history and benefits was done through a PowerPoint presentation which gave a simple brief to those who had never played the game. “It is a simple word game, but is unique in that it utilises analytical, mathematical as well as vocabulary skills. Most mind games use one or two of these, not all three! Scrabble is also used all over the world as a method of teaching English,” informed Antao.
The four quizzes that followed were meticulously planned and checked the general knowledge of participants with regards to the game and its history yet keeping it easy. Points were given to the teams accordingly and not just the team with the highest score but the other two teams got sweets as well!
The interactive quiz wound up with a comparison of Scrabble to life and Antao illustrated the similarity by recounting a personal incident. “Life is like Scrabble. You play the letters you draw and do the best you can. Sometimes you get great letters and super places to put them, and other times you are stuck with all the vowels! Sometimes someone even sneaks a non-word onto the board without you noticing. Patience and perseverance are important in Scrabble as well as in life,” she added.
While on the topic of life she then made the participants think up words associated with the word DREAM (happily no one mentioned sleep and their choices were apt – goal, aim, reality, vision etc) thus making them exercise their thinking and vocabulary skills. Everyone participated in singing ABBA’s ‘I Have a Dream’, the lyrics of which were given to them
After the break there were word games which utilised anagrams and participants were completely engrossed as they came up with the correct answers along with many misses. The first four top scorers were given specially printed Tee shirts. The final session brought out the Scrabble boards for the older children and the hand made one for the youngsters who enjoyed themselves picking up cardboard letters from a bag, making words and sticking them on appropriately.
Creativity and fun marked the extremely interactive workshop which ended with Antao handing out certificates of participation.