Games for Students to Help Build Comprehension

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Certain games are great for helping your students build upon their existing reading comprehension. Find out about games for students to help build comprehension with help from an experienced teacher in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Teaching With Games
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Cristina Gutierrez-Brewster. I'm an English teacher, and today I'll be discussing with you certain games that you can play to build reading comprehension. When you are building any students reading comprehension, you want to make sure that it appeals to them in a visual and active and physical format, as well. So, one of the first ones that I like to play in my classroom is the Connection Chain. This gets them hands-on with connecting text-to-text--any kind of text-to-text item. So, when you're making a connection chain, you want to make sure you have some construction paper available, and have the students write a book that they've read in the class. Perhaps it's "Holes". And then, as they go throughout the year, they must make a connection with another book that they have read, either in the classroom or outside the classroom. If it's "Charlotte's Web" that they read, well, they would have two pieces of construction paper together, and they would make a sheet of paper between that, make a chain that would describe what that connection is. So, an example of a connection between it would be, on a sheet of construction paper they write, "Holes reminds me of Charlotte's Web because both heroes are sad at first." Ha, whatever their connection is, just make sure that they get involved in it. They'll connect it between the two, and as they go throughout the year, they make it longer and longer and see who has the longest connection chain. That's a pretty cool one. The second game you can play is the "What Book Am I?" game, and this is done, usually, after you've read quite a few short stories or novels in your class, and at the end of the quarter, the semester, you go through as a good review, and you describe to the class certain major plot points and major characters. You would say in first person, "I have a brother named Michael, and I enjoy climbing." And then the students can try to guess which book you're talking about. You could make it a competition. If want to have teams against each other, that's also pretty fun. Another literary game that you can play when you are trying to teach any kind of reading comprehension involves any sort of visualization. And this game is one that you can assign groups of, and they will be given the task of creating the best image of say, the climax of the book. So, you have them compete against each other and say, "Ok, who can draw the climax of Holes?" And they have to actually start drawing it, and then they can compare their works with each other. Also pretty fun one. The final one that you can play is the "Literary Elements Jeopardy". This is usually for older students. Probably want to do is middle school, maybe young high school. And in Literary Elements Jeopardy, you can divide the categories up by the aspects of the book. So, if you want to have one category all about poetic elements, and the question could be something like, "This element is something that has the first letter repeated over, and over, and over again." And then the students would have to guess, "Oh, that's alliteration," or "That is the denouement of the story." Whatever it is, just make sure that you have gone over these terms with the class before. So, that way on that last day, that Friday, when you're competing against each other, that they're not scratching their heads and going, "We never talked about this." So, once again, my name is Cristina Gutierrez, and those were a few games that you can play when building reading comprehension.


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