Free Rice Game

A fun activity where you learn something and you help hungry people.

It's not making much of a difference in the world. It's a little gesture. But it is fun.

You see a vocabulary word and they offer you a multiple choice of synonyms. If you get it right, they give you a harder choice. If you get it wrong, they give you an easier word. For each word you get right, they donate 20 grains of rice to the U.N. World Food Program.

Today, I donated 2,000 grains of rice . And I reached vocabulary level 49!

Try it and see: www.freerice.com

[Note: I couldn't figure out how to make the image become a link. So you have to click on the URL, not the picture to get to the website.]

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Blogger Jeanne said...

I did this too, and had a hard time getting above level 41. I found that words above that level were words I would never use in spoken or written language unless I was using a thesaurus. Like why would I write "nescience" when I could just write "ignorance." For that matter, why would anyone say nescience when it only means ignorance?

It seems to me to be about the inaccessibility of the academy to the poor and working class.

But that's just my two cents.

I'm impressed you got to 49! Wow. You have an everyday knowledge of words like tabard and veld and gimcrack.

Can I call you when I'm looking for a word and can't find one?


Jeanne at QuakerClass Blog

1/18/2008 4:40 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

I think it is connected to the richness and complexity of the English language. There are subtleties of language that are beautiful sometimes.

Many of the words at the end I had to guess at too. I have never used many of them, but I could find some clue. For example, I don't know tabard, but I could guess veld and gimcrack out of a multiple choice question.

I have read a lot, which is related to class, but also to personality. One of the best things I ever read about vocabulary was an essay called "The Joy of Sesquipedalians," from Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, a collection of essays by Anne Fadiman, admittedly an upperclass denizen.

There are rich folks who never read and there are poor folks who practically live for trips to the library.

1/18/2008 8:20 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Another point is that the reason I think this is fun is because I'm good at it. Playing basketball is not fun for me because I'm not good at it.

Your mileage may vary.

1/18/2008 8:39 PM  
Blogger cubbie said...

that is fun! i am at work! i should stop playing! *laughs*

...it gave me the word "discernment" though.

1/18/2008 9:54 PM  
Blogger Liz in the Mist said...

I'm addicted......and least I'm helping others!

1/19/2008 10:42 AM  
Blogger Sophia said...

Posts about this site seem to be popping up all over the place. (even on one of my own blogs)

I've gotten up to level 44, and am addicted to the game, more than 20,000 grains of rice so far.

The vocabulary is so mixed! I know about a third of the high level words very well, have to guess at a third and I've never even seen the rest or have any idea what they could mean.

I only wish that our vocabulary skills were worth more than 20 grains of rice, or perhaps something more nourishing.

1/19/2008 6:28 PM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

I'm up to 5,000 grains and I'm having fun looking up the etymology of words in the OED (I have online access still through school, even though I've graduated...but only until they figure out that I've done so).

You're right-on about personality being one factor.

I've also looked up "The Joy of Sesquipedalians," and have read it. (Again, access to stuff like this through school).

She writes:

"When I was growing up, not only did my family walk around spouting sesquipedalians, but we viewed all forms of intellectual competition as a sacrament, a kind of holy water as it were, to be slathered on at every opportunity."

With my love of words and writing, I feel jealous of her family. My mother, daughter of a coal miner, read a lot. A lot of Harlequin romance novels. No sesquipedalians in those books. And none of those words spoken in the home in which I grew up.

A love of words in personality is limited by how much it has been nurtured and encouraged in your family of origin (and, as in my case, by teachers).

I'm glad your children have your love and interest in words so that should they have personality and interest, they'll be able to more fully develop it than I can.


1/19/2008 6:28 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who likes this game. Even my father, who is not a sesquipedaliaphiliac (how's that for a good word?) or a do-gooder, started playing.

And one of the secrets, I think, is that eventually you start seeing some of the same words over again, and by then you know them better, and it gets easier.

1/21/2008 5:27 PM  
Blogger Chris M. said...

Got to level 49 pretty quick, but then fluctuated between 45 and 47. Got up to 2,420 grains.

As with any multiple choice test, one of the keys is recognizing which words cannot be the correct answer, so you can eliminate them. If you get rid of two choices, you have a 50% chance of being right even if you have to guess.

What I DON'T need right now is yet another reason to spend more time online. Ai yi yi!

1/23/2008 11:45 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Just to brag, I reached level 50 briefly today. But then I lost it and went back down to 45 before I gave up.

A good reminder that I should not gamble with money.

1/24/2008 8:06 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Hickman said...

This is so much fun!

2/06/2008 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across this site a couple months ago, and I've gotten addicted. After awhile I noticed the same words over and over, and stopped for awhile. When I came back there were lots of new words. I've given away well over 10,000 grains on a number of occasions and my vocabulary score has finished as high as 52 several times. Now when I drop below 50 I refuse to quit playing until I raise it back up. It's a bit insidious.

2/09/2008 7:31 PM  

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