David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.
7th Grade Reading Games
Learning and practicing reading is a lifelong pursuit. It doesn't matter if you're in 3rd grade, 7th grade, or a fully grown adult, you can always get better. How can we practice reading? Well, we can read, read, and read some more. However, that isn't the only way to improve our reading skills. Instead, it's possible to structure reading around a game or activity. For younger students, that can make the process much more fun.
Word List Search
This game helps students focus on the more difficult words they're reading in a particular book. To prepare this game, make a list of challenging words in a book your students are going to read. List these words in a table with several columns headed (from left to right): Word, Context (Sentence), Meaning. In the first column, pre-fill the table with the words you want your students to look for. When they find that word in the text, they must write out the sentence in which it was found, and write down what they think it means. You can even offer a prize for the first student to find all the words mentioned, though be sure to test students' understanding of the text with a comprehension quiz to make sure students don't skim for the words.
Which Word am I Thinking of?
For this simple game, find a word inside a book that students are reading - ideally something challenging -- and then answer yes or no questions from students about that word. Move around the class systematically so that everyone has a chance to ask a question. For example, a student might ask, 'Is the word on a page numbered larger than eight?' Or, 'Is the word in the first half or second half of its sentence?' Or perhaps, 'Does the word rhyme with light?'
The first student to raise their hand and correctly guess the word, wins the game (or gains a point if you play several rounds). This game could also be played in teams.
New Word Categories
For this game, draw a table on the board with a column for several major types of words. We would recommend 'adjectives', 'verbs', 'nouns', and 'adverbs'. Have your students read a passage in groups, taking turns to read quietly paragraph by paragraph. As they read, students can write on the board any word they either don't recognize, or don't fully understand. If they write it in the correct column and identify what type of word it is, give them a token (which represents a point for their group).
When your students have finished with the passage, go through each group one by one, and ask a group spokesperson to share a definition with the class for any of the words written on the board. If they share a correct definition, give that group another token. In this way, students are encouraged to both share words they aren't confident about, and also help each other figure out the definitions of those words.
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