by Becky Palmer-Scott
Take a look at the learning games out there, especially for reading, and you will find that there are few games which test reading comprehension, especially if they are free. However, we have found a few, and they are even fun!
The Sports Network 2, a free browser-based game designed for ages 13 and up, is a self-directed literacy learning game that puts students in the role of managing director of a sports media company. Players experience authentic workplace situations, including interacting with colleagues and reading memos. The main assignment focuses on preparing for an on-air interview, which allows players to review key research concepts. Reading comprehension is also assessed.
The Sports Network 2 has many things going for it. Players get to choose and name their own avatar. The game provides realistic scenarios and good information, though some players might find it a bit wordy. It encourages exploration — game play is quite open-ended. Students may not be sure what to do, so you’ll want to allow ample time for play and/or play the game yourself before assigning it. See also lesson plan support, which includes a walkthrough.
Deduction – Trapped, designed for 7- to 11-year-olds, is whimsical and only takes a few minutes to play. One of several English-language games on the Topmarks.co.uk English games webpage, Deduction – Trapped uses a humorous narrator and subversive content to make reading comprehension fun. Even when you get the questions wrong, the response is rewarding in a Monty Pythonish way. The game is replayable because a different reading passage is offered on replay. The game Finding Information uses the same format to teach how to locate information in reference books.
Deduction, also offered on the Topmarks website, asks players to read and follow directions to select a route on a map.
The site’s Non-Fiction Game asks players to decide which given text fits best in a children’s book, a news story, and an advertisement.
The entire Topmarks website is really worth a look. In addition to the games described, other language subjects are covered, and it also provides games, interactive activities, and videos on many other subjects, including art, geography, history, math, music, religious studies, and science, for ages 3 and up.
Do you know of any good reading comprehension games that you would like to share? Tell us about it at SpecialEdTechEditor@gmail.com!