Are you looking for a fun way to help your students improve their English and reading skills? If so, then you should consider incorporating board games into your lessons! Playing English and reading-related board games is a fun and engaging way to help students learn new words, test their spelling skills, and express their creativity. great way to get students engaged and learning. using board games can be a
In this article, we will discuss ten of the best board games for teachers to use in their reading and English classes. Each is uniquely designed to test different skills and can be tailored toward a particular lesson with ease.
Of all the games listed here, Scrabble is probably the most popular and well-known. This classic game requires players to arrange their letters on the board in order to win points, making it one of the best options for testing your students’ spelling abilities and urging them to learn new words.
We recommend having a dictionary on hand so students can confirm that their words are spelled correctly. You can also prompt them to record the spelling and definition of any words they don’t know on a piece of paper they can refer back to. This will help expand their vocabulary and can be useful for future games.
Another common word game you’ll see in English and reading classrooms is Boggle. This game has many of the same advantages as Scrabble, in that it tests a player’s ability to spell and create words, but the game is a bit more fast-paced, making it much easier to incorporate into a class schedule without taking up the entire period.
The overall concept of Boggle is that a board is filled with 16 lettered dice that players shake up before each round. Once the letters are shaken and settled on the board, players must connect the letters adjacently to create as many words as possible before the three-minute timer runs out. Another benefit of this game is that student can play it alone or against each other, depending on their and the teacher’s preference.
Once Upon a Time
If you’re looking for a unique board game that focuses on storytelling over spelling and vocabulary, then Once Upon a Time is an ideal choice. Using multiple cards of varying categories, two to six participating students must craft a story with the ultimate goal of placing down all the cards in their hands, including their unique ending card.
This game gives students the opportunity to express their creativity and play the role of the author while also learning the essential elements of a story, such as a plot, characters, setting, etc.
A classic word game you might have grown up playing is Scattergories. The premise of Scattergories is that a 20-sided dice is rolled for a letter, and then a category is chosen. Within a specified period (usually 30 to 60 seconds), the student must write as many words that pertain to the designated category as possible, but they all must begin with the letter rolled by the dice.
This game is a great option for teachers who want one board game that allows their entire class to participate at once. It is also easy to tailor to your lessons since you could feasibly pick any category you want (ex., specific class topic, book, etc.).
Apples to Apples
In this game, players are dealt noun/verb cards and must pair them with the judge’s adjective/adverb card in the hope’s that the judge decides their card pairs best. Because the decisions are entirely subjective, humorous pairings are bound to occur.
Where this game really helps students in an English/reading class is that it teaches them different parts of speech and sentence structure due to how the cards are categorized and can teach them new words since each word on every card is correctly spelled and defined.
You might recognize Bananagrams by its distinct yellow, banana-shaped carrying container. This is yet another one of the many games that take inspiration from Scrabble (honorable mentions you can also incorporate in-class include Upwords and Dabble), but this is one more speed-based and convenient in that it doesn’t require a physical board.
To play, all the game’s lettered tiles are placed face-down and scrambled in a heap referred to as the “pile.” Players will then select a specified number of the face down tiles from the pile. Once all players have the tiles they need, they will simultaneously call “Split” to quickly turn their tiles over and start arranging them into words.
Instead of players using their letters to create words in a singular formation like Scrabble, each has their own separate formation they must create out of words solely using the letters they picked. Once a player has used all their letters, they will call “Peel.” This forces all players, including themselves, to pick up another letter from the pile that they must then incorporate into their words. Letters can be rearranged as much as necessary and traded in by calling “Dump”, allowing you to replace one letter with three new ones.
The game continues until the pile contains fewer tiles than there are players. Once this happens, the first player to use all their letters and call “bananas” wins.
This game is fantastic for testing a students’s quick thinking, vocabulary, and spelling skills, as they will have to constantly rethink what words they can spell with the letters they have and the new ones they pick up.
Tall Tales is an adorable board game we recommend to any teachers who love the idea of a storytelling game like Once Upon a Time but you want a version that is more collaborative and easier for younger players.
This game focuses entirely on creating a story; there are no winners or losers. To play, all of the game’s figurine pieces are placed into the game bag. Players will then draw out the pieces at random and use them to tell a story together. While the game can be played solely using the figurines, players can also use the environment cards to enrich the story and learn lessons about setting and how this can affect character behavior and plot.
Overall, this is a fun, simple game that helps teach younger kids how to be creative and build their own stories while learning some basics of storytelling structure and other elements.