Friday, April 28, 2017

Using Interactive Notebooks and Games to Teach Essential English Language Arts Skills



Learn Important English Language Arts Skills Using Interactive Games


Learning ELA skills is essential to any language arts curriculum. It is how we are taught to read and write properly. Learning these skills, however, is not always exciting for students. Whether at the elementary, middle or high school level, students may find this area of their English class to be dry, dull and plain old uninteresting. The solution? Games! Students respond well to competition and interactive activities. They love playing against each other and winning. Below are five types of games your students can play, at all grade levels, where they're both learning ELA material and having FUN!

 1. Grammar Races: This interactive learning game is both exciting and educational, while learning proper grammar usage. This activity can be done individually, in small groups or even a team. Students can use this interactive notebook resource to reinforce and improve their grammar skills. The teacher can read commonly confused or mistaken words by racing each other to create sentences that properly use that word. Teachers also have the option to read a sentence aloud and have students write that sentence by applying the correct word that they just heard read orally. The options are unlimited for how this can be presented and practiced within a classroom. The assignment is editable, so teachers have flexibility with the activity, too. The students have fun with this assignment and do not realize they are learning along the way. Click HERE for a closer look!

2. Punctuation Races: Due to the success of the Grammar Races activity, I created a similar resource, but with a focus on punctuation. Again, this activity can be done individually, in groups or in a team. One way to implement this activity in your classroom is by having students cut out the provided punctuation mark definitions and race each other in order to connect the marks with their corresponding term. Again, the activity is editable, fun and interactive! Click HERE for a closer look!


3. Social Media Madness: This activity can be used at the middle or high school level. Students are given a handout with actual posts from various social media outlets. You can grab the free handout HERE. Their job is to re-write that post, but making the necessary corrections in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. (Keeping in mind that names and profile pictures should be crossed off) Teachers could also create fake posts and students could make the necessary corrections to those as well, but to save you some time, and to get students really excited about practicing these skills, Presto Plans has done the work for you and created a Social Media Grammar Activity, where students review and make changes to celebrity social media posts. This is a win-win for both students and teachers. :) 

4.  SWAT: This is a whole-class game that involves working together to review different types of verbs. For example, split your class into two teams and write three types of verbs on your board: action, linking and helping. One person from each team should come to the front of the class. The teacher should read a sentence aloud and the two students should race to "SWAT" which kind of verb had been used in the oral sentence. Click HERE for other middle and high school games for grammar usage

5. JENGA: This game works best in groups of four, with multiple game sets available in a classroom. The teacher would have to do some prep work beforehand, such as writing on each of the Jenga blocks, for whichever skills need to be reviewed. Jenga is played by slowly and carefully removing the wooden (or paper) piece from the stack, without knocking all of the blocks over, and placing that block on the top. For example, if you are currently teaching adjectives, you have placed adjectives on the blocks. When students go to draw from the stack, you could have them write or verbally say the sentence using that adjective. Teachers have enough work, so here's a FREE template that I found where students can both create and write on for the game. 
I hope these games make learning the skills of ELA enjoyable for your students. The numbers of ways to teach students these skills is countless, so why not have some fun while you're at it! There's nothing like a little friendly classroom competition! So, in the end, yes, English class can be a lot of FUN!

2 comments:

  1. Games are the best way to learn things. I remember when I was small, we used to play and learn. Always try to make learning enjoyable.

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