Teach reading through games September 22 2015, 0 Comments

teach reading through gamesThis month has been devoted to how we can best use games in the classroom, and last week we discussed different types of math games we can incorporate as part of our classroom instruction. This week we'll move into reading and look at different games to improve children's reading abilities.                                                                                                                                                                                               We know how important it is to build foundational reading skills, which can help a child become a skilled, lifelong reader. Once a child learns the fundamentals of reading, they become better and stronger readers through practice. Reading games can help kids practice a variety of different skills, such as phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and spelling, in a fun and engaging way!

Here are a few different reading games you can try with your students. Give them a try and let us know which you like best!

Online games

Word Search

Age group: Lower elementary

Reading skills: spelling, vocabulary

Description: This game is similar to a classic word search puzzle. Before the student can play, the teacher needs to input which words will be shown in each puzzle. Next, students are presented with a random set of letters and they must find the hidden words within the puzzle. The goal is to find the greatest number of words!

Alphabet Bingo

Age group: Lower elementary

Reading skills: alphabet, spelling

Description: In this bingo game, children choose whether they see a letter's name or the sound it makes. The child then identifies that letter on the game grid. The goal is to make a straight or diagonal line across the whole game grid, and then the player wins!

Missing Letter / Busy Letter

Age group: Lower elementary

Reading skills: letters, spelling

Description: One of the letters of the alphabet is missing because it is busy being used in words. Students identify the missing letter, then must identify that letter in a writing sample. Once all the letters have been correctly identified, the player wins.

Wonder Red’s Wonder Words Match-Up

Age group: Lower elementary

Reading skills: rhyming words

Description: Kids help Wonder Red match the rhyming words in this memory game.

Writer’s Block

Age group: Upper elementary

Reading skills: reading, writing

Description: This isn’t so much a game as a way to practice reading and writing in an online community. Children help finish an online story by adding their own ideas. A new beginning of a story is added each month, and each child can add the middle and ending of the story. At the end of the week, the completed story is posted.

Synonym Toast

Age group: Upper elementary

Reading skills: synonyms, vocabulary

Description: Evil Sandwich Making Guy is littering the world with his colossal bread machine! Students toss slices of bread up into the toaster to help Captain Huggy Face eat them up, but be careful. The bread you choose must contain a synonym for the word on the toaster, or it will burn, and you'll be "toast”.

Print games

Fluency Challenge

Age group: Lower or upper elementary

Reading skills: fluency

Description: Reading with speed and prosody is an important part of becoming a skilled reader. A game I liked to play with my student was a “beat the clock” fluency challenge. I gave a homogeneous small group of students a list of reading words on their independent level. They had to read the words as fast at they could, either independently or round robin (where one student reads the first word, the next student reads the next word, and so on in a circle). I timed how long it took to finish the page of words. We re-read the page a few more times, trying to beat the previous time. Students loved the challenge! Sometimes I varied the game by presenting phrases instead of individual words.

One Card Out

Age group: Lower elementary

Reading skills: phoneme matching

Description: Students see a card with pictures. They must match the initial phoneme (sound) of each picture and decide which picture does not start with the same phoneme. They place an X over the picture in each row that does not belong.

Verb Vine

Age group: Upper elementary

Reading skills: verbs, prefixes, suffixes

Description: In this fun game, students are shown a game board. They select a word card that contains a verb, such as guess. They roll the dice and move to the correct spot on the board, which gives them a direction. For example, it might say to name a synonym or add a prefix. Students must follow the direction using their verb!

Affix Concentration

Age group: Upper elementary

Reading skills: affixes

Description: Students reinforce their understanding of affixes in this game. In this version of concentration, cards are placed face down on the table. On each card is written either an affix (such as re-) or its definition (such as again). Students must turn over cards to match the affix with its definition. The player with the greatest number of cards at the end wins!

What games have you used to reinforce reading concepts in your classroom? Share in the comments below!

Luminous Learning math worksheets with number lines and graph paper for special education students