Common Words is a card game designed for an individual student to give him/her practice with synonyms for common words.


  1. On index cards, write the words from the first column of the table below. These are the common words.
  2. On smaller cards made from posterboard, oaktag, or card stock, write the words from the second column of the table below. These are the synonyms to the common words.
  3. On the back of the smaller cards, write the common word. Thus the activity can be self-checking.
  4. I prefer to use a database and label making software to print the words on removable labels that I affix to the cards. I then laminate all the cards for durability. The final product looks professionally made.
  5. The cards are ready to use.
  6. Store them in a ziploc bag or mailing envelope on which you have written the game's title.

To Play:

  • Spread the common words on a table or desk so all can easily be seen.

  • Shuffle the smaller cards.
  • Match the words on the smaller cards to the common word for which they are a synonym.
  • When all the smaller cards have been matched, turn them over to check the answers.
Common Words
chortle, chuckle, grin, guffaw, crow, titter, cackle, hoot, giggle, snicker
whimper, wail, blubber, howl, weep, moan, whine, bawl, sob, sniffle
tickled, elated, thrilled, lighthearted, delighted, ecstatic, blissful, jovial, overjoyed, jubilant
pitiable, downhearted, woebegone, forlorn, dispirited, miserable, wretched, dejected, disheartened, depressed
swagger, trek, saunter, shuffle, plod, meander, amble, trudge, step, stroll
dash, speed, dart, race, scramble, chase, scamper, bolt, trot, scoot