The lessons you learn in English are constantly applied, both in and outside of school. Students will develop their critical thinking skills in addition to developing their mastery of the language enough to become effective communicators across all their endeavours.
Utilising classroom games for English as part of your educational mix engages students in this incredibly important subject and could help to dramatically improve outcomes for children of all ability levels. Whether you’re playing a simple variation of a classic card game or investing in complex educational games for your interactive display, there are a huge number of games you can play to improve your students’ English abilities.
We’ve gathered some great classroom English games below:
English games for KS1
Key Stage One is a vital part of any child’s language development. During this period you will be helping students master their pronunciation of familiar and unfamiliar words using the phonics knowledge they’ve already gained while also building their reading, spelling and overall vocabulary.
Whilst children in key stage one are still young, the right English education can set them up to be great communicators and provide them with a huge boost in confidence to take forward throughout their education and life.
The building block of English education: the alphabet. This game gives students 30 seconds to put the letters in the correct order. Complete mastery of the alphabet will be required as students have to think fast and click faster to finish on time, and it’s much more fun than a simple recital!
Your students can head to the dojo and train with the karate cats to become masters of spelling, grammar and punctuation in this fun interactive English game for KS1 students.
Students will complete sentences, spell words and choose the correct grammar to advance through levels and gain their black belt from the karate cats’ sensei. When learning to spell is this much fun, your students will become experts in no time.
Featuring a range of small town superheroes, students playing this game use their English skills to complete the missions. Over the course of the game they will:
- Perfect their punctuation with MC Ernie
- Gain confidence in compound words with Evergreen Ena
- Tackle tricky spellings with Acrobat Annie
- Grow their grammar skills with Sporty Steve
- Find information with Undercover Ursula
- Sail through sounds with Sally Tape and Percy Painter
With 18 mini games to play, the Small Town Superheroes provide your KS1 students with a great way to develop all of their English skills and showcase what they’ve learnt.
English games for KS2
Building on the basics developed in key stage one, Key Stage 2 English sees students master more complex spellings and begin to understand the difference between verbs, adjectives, nouns and more. All of this will further hone their communication skills and help students construct much more complex, descriptive sentences while understanding the right time to use certain words or phrases.
Develop your students’ ability to properly use nouns and adjectives in this game which tasks them with transforming a dull story into a best-selling horror tale.
Students will need to apply their understanding of everything they’ve learnt in English so far to choose the best words to use to spice up the story and the right place to use them.
As well as working alone, students can gather into groups to discuss their ideas and create the best story possible. After this introduction, why not task them with stretching their imagination and writing their own horror story from scratch?
Use your knowledge of grammar, punctuation and spelling to protect the valuable crystals from the sneaky pirate, Salty Dan.
Students can play as one of four brave explorers as they navigate through five fantastic maze worlds, solving puzzles as they go. Alternatively, you can task students with solving the most challenging puzzles straight away as they jump over snapping crocodiles and swing across waterfalls on their way to victory.
When he’s not out solving crimes, the Adjective Detective uses his powers of observation to help spot adjectives.
Over the course of this game, your students will work with the Adjective Detective to learn everything they need to know about adjectives and play games in which they’re tasked with identifying the adjectives used in a range of sentences.
English games for KS3
During Key Stage 3 English, students are guided through increasingly challenging reading and writing tasks and they develop an ability to think critically about texts; write fluent, complex pieces for a variety of audiences and build on the knowledge of vocabulary and grammar to study their use in more detail.
As well as being a classic for a family games night, Boggle is an ideal way for students to test and improve their vocabulary while improving their pattern recognition.
This version allows you to pause the timer, so students can compete to find as many words as possible as quickly as possible, or work together to find every possible combination. Upon completion, the game will show you every possible word so you know any you’ve missed. A simple way for students to work together to build their vocabulary.
Building increasingly complex sentences is a vital part of the evolution of any child’s development as a communicator. However, it’s easy for students to slip into old habits and stick to simpler sentences if they’re not confident in their abilities.
Sentence construction dice help build your students’ confidence and encourage them to use complex sentence structures and punctuation. By removing the focus on decision making, they help students focus on the fundamentals of sentence construction and truly understand how to put them together in an effective manner.
Are your students good spellers? Get them to test their skills in a race against the clock!
This game features incomplete sentences with a narrator reading out the word students have to fill in, they then have to act quickly and spell the word properly. By not giving students the time to think through and sound the word out, you’ll quickly identify particular areas of weakness in their spelling. You can either play this game on your interactive whiteboard or have students write their answer down for each spelling to provide you with a better understanding of each student’s ability.
English games for KS4
As GCSEs approach and students start thinking about their future beyond school, English skills become more important than ever. Effective writing becomes important for applications which have a huge impact on their future alongside helping pass exams, while advanced analysis of literature is expected as critical thinking skills further develop and are put to the test.
Ultimately, any learning activities for key stage four English need to both help students develop the abilities they’ll use outside the classroom while fulfilling their primary purpose of helping maximise exam grades.
The classic games of snap, updated to include different types of connectives.
In this variation, a SNAP is valid when two cards show connectives that are synonyms, rather than when identical connectives appear. Your students will need to be completely clear as to which connectives perform the same function if they’re to win, while you can also include the opportunity to build sentences using the connectives for bonus points.
Do you students know their similes from their metaphors or their opinions from their facts? This quick Sporcle quiz is your chance to find out.
With a time limit of just five minutes, this quiz tasks students with identifying the language techniques used in the hints and is a great way to start a lesson in which you discuss the different techniques. What easier way is there to discover exactly which techniques your students are unsure of so you can tweak your lesson accordingly?
Studied by GCSE English students for decades, understanding the works of Shakespeare and the techniques used within is vital for student success at GCSE level English.
In this simple drag and drop game, your students are tasked with matching the relevant description of a technique with the name of the technique itself. Again, this is a great way to establish where students may be struggling and help to guide you as you further their understanding of Shakespeare’s works.
And if you don’t like match-up games, you can simply change the format to a crossword puzzle or quiz format the whole class can easily collaborate on.
Use games to improve your English outcomes with Promethean
Keeping students involved in the process is important, regardless of your teaching style. When your students come to a classroom and feel like an active participant, they’re sure to benefit. Promethean creates world leading interactive displays, often referred to as interactive whiteboards, designed with the classroom in mind. Not only that, but we set the standard on educational software to help you get the most out of your smart technology.
Interested in learning more? Visit the virtual demo page to request a live demo of the Promethean ActivPanel interactive display.
If you have enjoyed this guide, why not check out some of our other expert interactive whiteboard resources.