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Word Tag - Word Learning Game

Paint vocab words on walls, hear definitions, complete sentences

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Subjects & Topics

English Language Arts

Price: Free to try
Platforms: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Pros: Vocabulary activities build on previous ones to provide a variety of ways for students to interact with new words.

Cons: Lots of long gaps between learning content, which feels secondary to the adventure elements. Teachers can't input word lists.

Bottom Line: Students may find the game fun, but teachers will need to supplement with other vocabulary activities and may object to the focus on tagging.

Use Word Tag - Word Learning Game as a fun supplement to other vocabulary activities. With its focus on gaming, this app may work best as an option for students who have some downtime and need to fill it with something lightly educational. Or, it could also be assigned as homework for vocab building and review. Since students make progress on their own profile, it will be be easier if they each have their own device and unique profile. Teachers could consider having students play in pairs or small groups (each with their own profile and device) and setting up some friendly competitions to encourage motivation for learning vocabulary words. Teachers may consider reviewing the game's word lists and incorporating those words in off-screen activities too.

Word Tag - Word Learning Game is a subscription-based app that aims to teach vocabulary words to elementary- and middle school-aged kids. Simple, word-related activities are interspersed throughout a virtual gaming world. Students explore different settings as they collect words and cans of spray paint so that they can "tag" the words on a wall. They also complete tasks related to using those words in context. For example, in one task students have to collect stacks of magazines hidden throughout the game setting and then choose the correct word to finish a sentence. As students play, they collect stars, which they can use to buy items in multiple virtual stores. Keep playing to level up to different settings, and review collected words at any time from the main menu. A single download can support up to four player profiles. When creating a new profile, choose from seven grade levels - Grade 2 through Grade 8 - and three levels of difficulty to determine the words students interact with. 

Studying words to increase vocabulary can be dry and tedious, so Word Tag - Word Learning Game gets credit for trying to make it fun. The game is rich and full of complexity -- and features great graphics. Unfortunately, there's so much game going on, it can take kids quite a while to get to the vocabulary part. And when kids get there, the vocabulary-related activities tend to be short, rote, and superficial. For example, learning activities ask students to simply read the word's definition, or pick a word from a list of four to complete one sentence. Then kids are back in the game mechanics, looking for the next multistep task to complete. It's a plus that word activities build on each other -- first the definition, then using in a sentence, and so on -- which is a nice way to introduce and reinforce new vocabulary. That's a start, but teachers shouldn't expect it to be enough. If there were more word-related activities embedded into the game, if kids could control the spray painting to help learn the words, and if teachers could input words they're teaching, Word Tag would be an even stronger option.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

A rich, complex game world is front and center. The rebellious feel to the tagging theme may appeal to some, though that's not a given.


Students first learn the definition of new vocabulary words and then gradually interact with the words in different ways. Vocabulary content is secondary to the game mechanics.


Simple how-to instructions explain the basics but miss some important details. Students track the words they've collected; no teacher reports.

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