The 2020-2021 school year has brought forth the need to be able to engage students through distance learning like never before. The games are one of the great things about Logic of English curriculum, but how do we play these games in a virtual environment? We have some different possibilities and recommendations for making these literacy games and fun practice ideas accessible during distance learning.
For games that parents can easily play at home with their children, please see the LOE Literacy Games Course on our elearning platform. This is a free resource that is designed to give parents instructions for fun literacy games they can play at home. Any materials that are needed are things that are commonly found around the house or things they can make themselves. Each game has a PDF document with the game instructions as well as video instructions for the parents.
For games to play during class, you will want to find activities that involve actions that you can see students doing at home on their cameras or something that students can write/draw and hold up at the end. Below is a list of games that we thought would be fun for this environment. Many of these games have been adapted from our Logic of English Game Book.
Phonemic Awareness Games
Blend and Do
The teacher segments an action word such as stomp into /s-t-o-m-p/ and students blend the word together in their head and do the action word. This is a great game to get some movement into students who may have been sitting at the computer for too long.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 13.
Blending Animal Names
For the virtual version of this game, we recommend using the Variation Animal Actors. The teacher segments an animal name such as dog into /d-o-g/ and the students blend the word together in their minds and act like that animal. We recommend sticking with one syllable animal names for younger students, but feel free to add syllables if the students are ready for more of a challenge.
You can also make this activity more challenging by sending each student a picture of an animal and having the students segment the name. You can have the rest of the class guess what they are segmenting or act it out. This way each student gets to be the teacher for one of the animals.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 12.
Sound Bingo (Virtual Edition)
Provide each student with a First Sound Bingo Card or have them make their own. You can give students a list of words to write (if they are already reading - or draw if they are not). We recommend these words be one syllable CVC or CCVC or CVCC words in order to have the most success with this game.
Once students have their cards you can practice segmenting different sounds using the pictures. For example, you can play a round of First Sound Bingo where the teacher says cover any image or word that starts with “b” and if a student has “bell” on their card they would be able to cover it up. This round would be all first sounds.
The card can then be used again to focus a round on final sounds or medial vowel sounds. Please note, that medial vowel sounds are generally the most challenging of the three, so it is okay if the students are not ready for this right away.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 16.
Vowel Stacks (Virtual Edition)
You will begin by showing a word and challenge the students to isolate the vowel in the word. Then challenge the students to replace the vowel with a new sound to create a new word. The original version has students using tiles for this activity, which is possible but difficult to share virtually, so it might be better to use whiteboards or a piece of blank white paper for this activity.
Example: teacher gives the word “fan” and the students might come up with “fun” or “fin.” More advanced students might come up with “fine” or “fawn.”
After giving the students time to write, have them all show their word to the camera and see if anyone came up with something unique.
This can also be done with switching out first sounds or final sounds as well.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 17.
Phonogram, Spelling, and Morpheme Games
The teacher plays music and then calls out a phonogram by its sound(s) and a way to write it - for example, head, elbow, finger, knee, foot. Students draw the phonogram in the air as a way to practice it.
Alternatively, students can be asked to shape their body into each phonogram for some full-body movements.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 25.
Have each student get several scraps of paper ready and a cup or small basket. Call out a phonogram by its sounds and have the students write them. Have the students show the camera what they wrote and if they wrote the correct phonogram, allow them to crumple the paper and shoot it into the basket. Award points at the end for how many are in each basket if desired, then students can try to beat their score the next time.
This can also be done to practice spelling words if students have mastered the phonograms.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 51.
Provide each student with a Bingo card containing 25 phonograms they have learned so far or have them make their own. The teacher calls out a phonogram by its sounds and the student covers it up. When the student has five in a row for “Bingo” they must read back the phonograms by their sounds in order to win the round.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 72.
Also, see Vowel Bingo in the Logic of English Game Book on page 74.
This is a fun project students can do on their own time but then share with the class. If students are learning a new phonogram, and have devices they can use to take pictures, they can go around and take pictures of objects that contain that phonogram to create a collage. They can also draw or cut things out of magazines if digital presentation is not an option.
Alternatively, this can be a fun way to engage everyone in reviewing the phonograms by assigning each student a different phonogram to create a collage for and then present to the class.
This can also be done with morphemes for older students who need more of a challenge.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 82.
Create a Book
This is a great review for phonograms, spelling words, or morphemes. There are a lot of options here. Students can create their own books with paper and markers at home, create their own ebook, or create a collaborative ebook depending on the age of the students and tools available.
The teacher will assign phonograms, spelling words, or morphemes for the students to design review pages for. These pages should have images as well as sample words when appropriate.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 85.
Beat the Clock
The teacher shows the phonogram flashcards and the students respond as quickly as possible. The teacher writes down the time and the students try to beat the time during the next class period.
In the classroom, this is generally done as a whole group, which you might be able to do on the computer but it will be more difficult because you will want to make sure everyone is responding. So, alternatively, you could give the students an order to go in before the game and do Around the World Style where each student takes a turn reading the phonogram. In this way, each student has a chance to read a phonogram and you can still try to beat the time of getting through all of the phonograms as a class the next day.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 88.
Teacher Trouble (Virtual Edition)
Assign each student a phonogram to write down or let them choose one to write down on a large piece of paper or whiteboard. The students take turns quizzing the teacher on the sounds. Students have to check the teacher on everyone’s phonogram and say “buzz” when the teacher gets the sounds wrong. It is more fun if the teacher gets plenty wrong.
An alternative way to do this is to flash the flashcards at the students through a shared screen and still say them yourself. This will still have them paying attention but will not involve them trying to hold anything up to the camera during a fast past game.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 94.
Sink and Spell
This is a great way to practice spelling words. Provide Each student with a grid or have them label the rows and columns of a piece of graph paper. Each student writes in the spelling words to the grid. Pair students up in small group rooms to play Sink or Spell. Each student will guess a point on the grid such as A6. The other student will check to see if they have a letter in A6, if they do, they will say which letter is there. If not, they will declare “missed.” The first student to successfully land on all of the other player's letters wins!
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 185.
Have students gather different color writing utensils before this activity. Crayons, colored pencils, pens, etc. Any of these will work, along with a blank sheet of paper. The teacher will dictate the spelling word and the student will choose a new color to write each word with. They can write some big or tiny, and at the end, there will be a colorful reference for their spelling words.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 196.
Students create a dictionary with the spelling word, a sentence that uses the word, and a picture that illustrates the sentence. Students can make their own dictionaries at home with paper and markers or make a collaborative slide show presentation instead. This could be a great thing for students to work on in small groups online.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 205.
Guess My Picture (Virtual Edition)
Assign each student a spelling word. The student will illustrate their spelling word and then show it to the class. Allow the other students to guess which word they illustrated.
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 206.
The teacher calls a spelling word and the students close their eyes and write the word. Students open their eyes to see how it looks. Remind them that it does not have to be perfect, but it should be fun and silly!
This game can be found in the Logic of English Game Book on page 222.