No rule says reading must be boring. On the contrary, it should be fun! Here are our top 3 classroom reading games.
Reading is, simply put, essential. From the more pragmatic aspect of it — being illiterate is hardly helpful, after all — to other, less obvious but still crucial benefits of reading, such as improving cognitive functions, it all boils down to preparing us for our future academic and professional lives.
However, children often have trouble developing their reading skills. The reasons why that is the case can be manifold. Sometimes, it is lousy teaching methods that we should blame. At other times, it is some form of learning disability. Whatever the case, one thing is sure — we can always make reading more fun with word games.
How to make reading in the classroom fun
Fun activities are always welcome in the classroom. Children love learning as they play, and interactive, fun ways to learn are a breath of fresh air in otherwise stale and dull learning environments.
Everything can be learned through play, but reading is especially easy to teach with some games, both when working with individual learners and small groups. That means you can tackle what is likely the most important skill a child can acquire without turning it into a chore.
Additionally, if you can make words and letters fun for early readers, you will plant in them the desire to read literature once they’re ready. That will open plenty of doors for them down the line, introducing them to whole new worlds or possibilities.
3 best reading games for the classroom that children enjoy
What kind of fun reading games should you go for, though? In short, you’ll be limited only by your creativity. If you want to, and if you’re of such propensities, you can let your imagination run wild and come up with all sorts of games. If you’d rather stick to some well-known classics, we’ve got three recommendations that you and your students are sure to enjoy.
If you’ve ever played Scrabble, you’ll be right at home playing Boggle too! Essentially, all you need to do is shake up the letters and then ask your pupils to spot as many words as they can before the time runs out. You can make the game more challenging by allowing only nouns as the correct answer or setting the first letter in advance.
This is yet another classic. You might need a whiteboard here because you’ll be erasing things a lot. Basically, it’s a guessing game. Somebody will think of something, and others will try to predict what they’re thinking about by completing phrases with missing words. This is a great way to learn new words and work on problem-solving skills at the same time.
A Little Wordy
A Little Wordy is a great game for two players, so it’s ideal if you teach kids individually. The way it’s played is that two people draw tiles and make their secret words using them. Then, they give each other clues and slowly narrow down their guesses until one of them guesses the other’s word. Clues can be anything: consonants in the word, some rhyming words, etc.
Non-traditional ways to increase reading comprehension for children
Sticking with proven methods is good, but it doesn’t hurt to think outside the box sometimes. When board games, stickers, index cards, and worksheets don’t work, you can replace them with some non-traditional teaching materials. Don’t worry, though — we’re not suggesting anything too complicated or outlandish. Here’s what we have in mind:
- Make them practice inferencing when speaking: Reading, writing, and speaking are all just aspects of a system we call language. Practicing one thing, therefore, helps build skills in another. If you want to help your students with their reading comprehension, ask them to infer what you’re about to say using information they’ve gathered in the early part of the conversation. This is a fantastic tool in the right hands and helps preschoolers especially.
- Use audiobooks: Don’t think we forgot about listening! Not at all. Listening is a crucial language skill, and getting good at following more complex narratives read aloud can do wonders for one’s reading comprehension, too, especially if combined with other reading strategies. To introduce audiobooks to your students, you can sign up for the Speechify audiobook platform and dive into a whole world of both fiction and nonfiction in various languages.
- Use text-to-speech programs: A lot of children have problems reading the good old way. Audiobooks help with that, but text-to-speech programs might actually be better. After all, premium tools such as Speechify not only read online documents and study material but also allow for a lot of customization, making them suitable for students of all grade levels and personalities. You can tweak them to teach phonics, use them as a pronunciation teaching tool, or simply as a way to bypass problems caused by dyslexia. Whatever the case, you will help many children focus on the written word and increase their reading comprehension.
What is a fun way to read?
A fun way to read is the way that helps you enjoy your material. There is no one set reading method or one set text format that is bound to be enjoyable to everyone. You can think of reading activities as any other: each individual likes something else. And that is perfectly fine! It is important for young children to learn early on that they can and should resort to other reading methods, for example, audiobooks. What’s important is that they can have fun while developing communicative skills and practicing critical thinking.
What is the difference between reading and reading aloud?
When we say reading, most of us think about books and processing the words silently. However, many people read aloud. Yes, they read aloud to themselves! The only difference here is that reading aloud might help some people retain more information and process things faster. Back in the day, when reading was more of a communal activity, almost everyone read aloud, usually in front of the whole class. Who knows, maybe you’d like it too?