Reading Activities Part 5

by Sophia McMillan
(Shane Training Centre,Tokyo, Japan)

Reading Activities Part 5

Spelling with Numbers: Get a learner to write the alphabet across the board and another to write numbers underneath.

a b c d e f g h … 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 …

The teacher says a word, e.g. cat and learners race to write 3 1 20

Anagrams: Anagrams are possible if you give learners choices. For example: cat dog hat look ogd

Make the Letter Shape: The teacher shows a letter or says it and learners have to form or make that letter. So for a t a learner can extend their arms. Learners could work in pairs or teams to make letters.

∗ Focusing on Reading Sentences

Connect the Sentence: This is good for private classes, but could be played competitively with a group. Scatter words from target sentences around the board. You can do it with a question and answer. When you say the sentence, learners find the first word, join it to the second word and so on. Remember punctuation. You can also use this game for short answers. Scatter the words “yes, it is” and “no, it isn’t” several times around the board. Use the contracted from of “isn’t” instead of “is not”. Show a flashcard and ask a question. Learners race to connect the correct answer.

Round the Board Reading: Split a dialogue up into the individual words written randomly around the board. Drill the dialogue whilst pointing to the words on board. Pairs of learners recreate the dialogue bashing the words with a plastic hammer whilst rest of class call out words.

Stand In Line with Words: This is similar to the connect the sentence activity above, but this time the learners have cards and have to stand in line to make a correct sentence. If you’re teaching “He likes/she likes …” then prepare some cards with the words:

He chocolate . (remember the full stop!)

She cats

likes strawberries

To make it more difficult, you could include I like or She doesn’t like.

Obviously the length of possible sentences depends on the size of your class. If you have a big class, you could play this in teams or you could time a smaller class for each sentence to make it more challenging.

Cut Up Sentences: Use sentences from the lesson. Learners try to put words in the correct order. To build co-operation in the class learners can arrange the words in teams. This also helps learners recognize regularities in English, such as the reversal of word order in questions and short answers.

Letter Dictation: The teacher dictates in sequence the letters of a sentence, question or phrase individually.

Learners write the letters down in sequence and when finished have to race to decipher what the sentence is. e.g. “W”,”H”,”A”,”T”,”I”,”S”,”Y”,”O”,”U”,”R”,”N”,”A”,”M”,”E”.


Clearly teaching someone to read is a complicated and time-consuming process. However, when the effects of your teaching start to pay off and your learners start reading it is an extremely motivating experience for both teacher and learner. Week by week, do some activities that build up these skills and your patience will be rewarded.

To Reading Activities Part 1

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·         Bio: Sophia McMillan is the Training Manager / TESOL Course Director at Shane Training Centre, Shane Corporation Ltd, Japan. A training centre dedicated to promoting and fostering teacher development and the only Trinity accredited training centre in Japan.

Sophia McMillan

Training Manager/TESOL Course Director

Shane Training Centre, Shane Corporation Ltd

Sophia McMillan is the Training Manager / TESOL Course Director at Shane Training Centre, Shane Corporation Ltd, Japan. The only Trinity accredited centre in Japan and dedicated to promoting & fostering teacher development.

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