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Word Association Game and Describing Activities – In the Doghouse



A word association game that will build description skills too.

In this fun dog-themed game, students match the pictures that go together, then describe how they are related using visual support. This resource is great for describing by naming attributes, similarities, differences and comparing and contrasting too.

Differentiation is made easy with the provided visual supports for sentence structure, associations, and description. I’ve included multiple activities with this word association game, so you’ll easily be able to use this resource for a variety of ages and skill levels, from Pre-K to 4th!

Use the In the Doghouse word association game in small group speech therapy, literacy centers, or for RTI instruction. This kid-pleasing open-ended board game features a mischievous little dog who gets into a bit of trouble on his way back to his doghouse. You can use this versatile game with the included association word pair cards, or with any prompts for any goal.

Here’s What’s Included::

  • 30 pairs/ 60 picture cards of associated objects
  • Word Asociation Pairs Reference Cards
  • 3 Visual supports:
    • How are they similar? Visual Cue Card to help children identify commonalities
    • How are they Different? Visual Cue Card to help children identify differences
    • Sentence Mat to support children in constructing a sentence describing how pairs are associated.
  • 3 Graphic organizers:
    • Write the Similarities
    • Write the Differences
    • Compare and Contrast
  • In The Doghouse! A fun word association game or use it open-ended for any goal. 
  • A black & white ink-saving version is included

How to Use this Resource:

  1. The describing cue cards: How are they similar? and How are they different? Describing can be a tough skill to learn! There are two cue cards that will help children describe how pairs are related. For readers, place the card in front of the student as they describe the features of the pictured objects. For students who do not yet read, you may read each cue to them and help them brainstorm the answers.
  2. The sentence mat helps children describe the relationship in a complete sentence. Place the associated pair of cards on the puzzle pieces. For non-readers, point to each card as you say the sentence, and have your student repeat the sentence when describing. If your student is a reader, have your student read and use the sentence to begin their description. ” ___ and ___ are alike because___.”
  3. In the Doghouse! Word Association Game: Put the word association cards together in matched pairs. The child takes a pair and describes how they are related, then spins the spinner and moves the game piece. The object is to get the mischievous little puppy dog back to his doghouse. The game includes four game “circles” to use as markers as your children play the game. Use a binder clip to keep the game pieces upright or use any game pawn you may already have.
  4. Play a Memory game: Turn the cards face down, then turn over two at a time. When an associated match is found the child keeps the pair and describes how the pair is related. The wordlist cards can be used to help identify matches.
  5. The graphic organizers can be used with the B&W pictures to help children as they write the similarities and differences. Cut and paste a pair of pictures on the organizer, then write/ describe the relationship between the two words using the graphic organizer. Great for homework too!


If you like this product, you may enjoy these activities:

Category Bingo Riddles Make working on naming categories and categories and category members super fun with this bingo game that has rhyming riddle clues.

Pronouns and Plurals Dress Me Community Helpers Perfect for preschool,  kindergarten, and first grade, your students will love dressing the community helpers as they practice vocabulary and grammatical structures. Make a cookie sheet activity or use the black and white printables.


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