For the entire month of May, my friends at The Reading Crew are putting together a WHOLE month worth of literacy ideas for you. I am always on the look out for games that improve literacy skills. Today, I want to share with you some of my favorite games that are so fun your kids will not even realize they are practicing their literacy skills.
The first game I want to tell you about is basically SCATTERGORIES. When I was a little girl, my parents and I would play this game and I loved it. If you teach a foreign language this is also a good one to play. Have your students pull out a fresh sheet of paper and at the top, list the categories:
- Proper Nouns
- Fictional Character
To play, one student will say the alphabet silently in their head, starting with saying A out loud then all the rest of the letters silently. If they have to go through the alphabet again, say A out loud once more. Another student, says stop. That is the letter that all of the answers to the categories need to start with. If you have an alphabet die, you can also roll that. To play, I would probably suggest breaking the class into groups of 4 or 5. The scoring is 10 points for every unique answer, 5 if more than one person has the same answer, and 0 for no answer or wrong.
Have your students divide a fresh piece of paper into 5 columns. Each column represents a syllable. Column 1 is one syllable, column 2 is 2 syllables, etc. Decide on the length of time you want to play for. Each student needs to go through the row and write a word for each column. They move on to the next row after completing a row of syllables. After the time is up, count up how many words and that is the number of points for that round.
Have a student choose a word from the dictionary. Now they have to describe and act out the word until someone in the class guesses it. They could share with the class, the number of syllables, the letter that the word starts with, rhyming words, synonyms, antonyms, etc.
In this fast-paced fun game, you do not want to be the person that completes the word. For example, the first person chooses any letter, such as F. The next person adds to the word, F-A. The game keeps playing till the last person completes the word. If you complete a word, you automatically get a penalty letter. ALSO, if someone challenges a letter you choose and calls your bluff (for example, if you say a letter but don’t have a word in mind) the person challenged must accept the penalty or supply the word. The penalty is a letter, once the player gets all the letters in GHOST, they are out of the game.
Start with a concept/word, then without thinking much about the word you will say go through the room where everyone builds on the word that was said before them.
EXPAND YOUR IDEA: What if…?
Come up with a mundane situation such as buying a school lunch and then have students generate as many what if situations they can, such as: What if they served raw chicken? What if the lunch lady was an alien? Etc.
These games can be used as part of literacy sessions or can be played in a spare 5 minutes. The essential idea is to play the game again and again so that the children become confident with the game and really develop the skills that lie behind it. I really enjoy word games and I know that kids really enjoy playing them. I will continue this collection so please bookmark this page and check back often.