FLoSS Word Flurry


The object is to make as many FLoSS* words as you can in 3 minutes. The materials are custom made color-coded letter cubes, a timer, and pencil and paper.

*FLoSS word (Wilson definition): If a one syllable word has one vowel immediately followed by an f, l, or s, double that letter.

Pair children up and assign them the role of wordsmith or scribe for Round 1. (You can have individuals work alone to make each word and then write it down if you prefer.) The wordsmith doesn’t roll the cubes, but maintains control and manipulates them to show the letter s/he needs to make a real word. When the 3 minutes run out, have the pair look over their words and check that they are legitimate. They need to be real English words and properly spelled: for instance, “crall” is not accepted because that‘s not how it’s spelled. For Round 2, the kids in each pair switch roles. At the end of the game, scores are tallied, with each word being worth 1 point unless it begins with a consonant blend, in which case it’s worth 2 points. To counter the competitiveness of some groups, I have the teams add all their scores together for a group total. But if it doesn’t wreak havoc with the sense of community you’ve worked hard to build, you could have pairs play against each other.


You can give kids the option of adding a vowel ending (-y, -ed, -ing, or –er) to the words they made as a way of earning an additional point.

 Letter Cubes

Any colors will work, of course, but it’s ideal to follow the green-yellow-red of a traffic signal to indicate which letter cubes start the word and which end it.

 Green or Blue                        Yellow                           Red

s            p                                    a                               ss

c            l                                     i                                ss

f            w                                   o                                ff

h           r                                     u                                ff

b           m                                   e                                ll

d           t                                     *                                 ll