Students gather in the secondary library for a variety of reasons – finding books for pleasure reading, studying, doing research on the library computers. Lately a new library activity has swept through the otherwise quiet space, causing plenty of excitement and heated competition.
If you stop in the secondary library during lunch break or for the hour after school, you’ll find a crowd of students and teachers gathered around the three tables, all embroiled in ongoing, raucous games of Bananagrams.
Bananagrams is a word game similar to Scrabble with participants competing to create the most words with the tiles they have available. Though students play for fun, Banangrams is a good activity for building vocabulary.
Unlike Scrabble, which proceeds orderly from player to player, Banangrams is a fast-paced race with each player moving quickly, grabbing new tiles from the center pile when their allotment has been used. The first one to finish all the tiles with no remaining letters in the middle is the winner.
Students were introduced to Bananagrams last year during the grade 10 creative writing weekend. The game caught on so quickly that it has spread to involve students throughout the secondary, from grade 6 through grade 12.
Competition is not just limited to students. After school or at any lunch break you’ll find students boldly taking on teachers and teachers challenging students. In fact, one formerly undefeated teacher was recently trounced by a 10th grader, much to the teacher’s chagrin and the delight of all the students.
Younger middle school students have also started playing, which was greatly welcomed by the older secondary students.
This is a very stimulating way to spend winter lunchtimes, when hanging out in the cold outdoors is an unpleasant option. The library is looking into investing in a few more intelligent games for lunchtime enjoyment. If anyone in the TIS community has a game or two they would like to donate, the library will happily accept them!