Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Literacy Games

Lyrics Training is an easy and fun method to learn and improve your foreign languages skills like English, through the music videos and typing the lyrics of the songs.

Headline Clues from Michigan State University is a great activity. In the game, you’re shown the lead paragraph, but letters from two words in the headline are missing. Players have to use clues in the first paragraph to identify what the missing words should be. As you play the online version, you can ask for clues. One of the great things about using this game is that students can create their own with pen and paper and have classmates try to figure out the answers, as well as giving them clues if needed.

Wordmaster is from the BBC. In it, you’re shown a sentence with a word missing (indicated by a blank). Then you have to click on an on-screen keyboard to type the correct word “hangman” style. You can ask for clues, and you’re competing against the clock. You can also choose various levels of difficulty, and the game has thousands of words. And after you’ve either guessed the correct word or the timer is up, you can have the sentence read to you.

Free Rice is the “granddaddy” of “cause-related” games. If you choose the correct definition of the word, the next word you’re given is “harder.” If you answer incorrectly, the next word is supposed to be “easier.” In addition, for every word you get correct, ten grains of rice are donated to an international aid agency. A year-and-a-half ago, the BBC published a story quoting United Nations’ officials as saying the game has generated enough funds to feed 50,000 for a day at that time. Free Rice recently expanded its game and now has questions related to grammar, geography, art, foreign language and math, too (Yes, I know, this doesn’t teach the words in context, but because they have questions in all the categories, it’s so fun, and it’s for a good cause, are all reasons why I added it to this list.


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