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3 Ways To Use Literacy Games In The Classroom

You know what they say about all work and no play. That’s quite true in the classroom. While some may think of games as distractions or a break from real learning, literacy games actually serve an important purpose in learning. Games are engaging, which makes them a perfect way to introduce a lesson, practice concepts, or review a lesson. I use games in all these ways, and students love them.

While some may think of games as distractions or a break from real learning, literacy games actually serve an important purpose in learning.

How to use literacy games in the classroom

Like making reading fun, literacy games help motivate students to practice and learn, often without feeling like they are working. Games help cement understanding and memory.

One tip for using games: make sure you follow up on any student confusion or misunderstanding. For example, if you find a number of students get confused about the CVC words in a game, review the skills needed (blending, segmenting and manipulating) for reading and spelling these types of words after the game is over.

Games are useful tools with students of all ages and levels. Here are three ways I’ve worked them into my lesson plans. Have fun!

Kick off a lesson with literacy games

Games are a great way to engage students as you kick off a new lesson. Try using games that draw upon a previous lesson or unit and builds on it with a new skill. Or use a game to see what students already know.

Preview a new concept—a specific digraph, synonyms, long O sound words, whatever—and have students play a game to try it out. Use gentle competition if that motivates students or use a cooperative or individual game for students who don’t fare well with competition.

Provide small group practice with literacy games

When students break into small groups, have a station set up with a literacy game, like sight word bingo or vocabulary Jenga. Review the rules of the game when you go over each station and include simple written instructions if appropriate.

You can also use games like these or cootie catchers as a fun choice activity for students who have finished other work.

Make review fun with literacy games

As you wrap up a lesson and review key concepts with students, don’t forget to include games and fun activities. At this point, ideally, kids know the concept well. The games may be more fast-paced or bring students a greater sense of accomplishment as they show what they know.

Bingo, four in a row, and cootie catchers can be adapted for a variety of words, word types, and sounds. You can use matching games, races to find words that fit a category or silly story making. Crosswords, word search, and other individual games are great for review too.

Games are power. In addition to teaching important literacy skills, students learn about rules and turns and competition or cooperation. I wouldn’t want to teach literacy without them.

Free reading and spelling games

To make it easy for you to try using literacy games in your classroom, I’m sharing a few of the literacy games I’ve created. You can get your 5 Free Spelling and Reading Games by filling in the form below.

While some may think of games as distractions or a break from real learning, literacy games actually serve an important purpose in learning.

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