Teach Through Games: Hiss by Gamewright

Teach Through Games: Hiss by Gamewright

Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary

Description: In this game, all players trade turns drawing cards that either have a snake head, tail, or midsection. Each head and tail card is one of six colors (aside from the wild cards), while each midsection is comprised of two colors. Players draw a card, then try to match it to a snake already being constructed on the playing surface (usually the floor.) A snake is completed when it has a head, at least one midsection card, and a tail. Once a player completes a snake, he/she gets to place it in his/her “snake pit.” The goal is to complete as many snakes (with a head, tail, and at least one midsection) and have the most cards at the end of the game. So it’s beneficial to complete snakes, but even more beneficial to complete a long snake.

Skills & Modifications: This is one of very few games that I have never modified. It’s very simple to play, and a wide range of students enjoy playing. I have listed below how I incorporate specific skills into gameplay.

  • Counting – When a player completes a snake, we will count how many cards make up that particular snake before moving it to his/her snake pit.
  • Matching – The game requires that a student draw a card, then see if they can find a matching color already in play to build a longer snake or complete a snake. What I like about this game in particular is that two colors may match, but the cards won’t line up evenly. This is actually very rare in games for preschoolers, and it’s a great way to practice matching.
  • Comparisons – At the end of the game, I will point to two different snakes and ask my student to compare them, using words such as longer and shorter or describing them by referencing color.
  • Adjectives – This is a lot like comparisons, but for early learners I may be asking them to receptively identify a “long snake” or “find a short snake.”

Pros: The instructions are very simple to follow. For students with autism or other developmental delays who struggle with gross motor skills, I appreciate that this is a card game in which students don’t have to hold fanned-out cards in one hand.

Cons: You do need a relatively large playing area to play the game as designed. I always play this game on the floor with students.

Cost: $14.99 Should I buy this? This is a game that is widely loved by my students. I find it is motivating for students from about age 3-9, so it’s especially great if you are working with siblings or with children of different ages. It’s easy to comprehend the instructions, but the look of the game is not too “babyish” for older kids.

ABLLS: B5, G13, G22, R4

VB-MAPP: coming soon

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