Submitted by keith at ela from English Language Academy


All work and no play 2 Let games help boys read. As teachers, whether we are answerable to a head teacher or a fee-paying parent. The wonderful creative drama lesson or interactive game you have spent hours creating being interrupted by the head teacher coming in and asking what “All the noise” is about. This fear still harboured by many experienced professionals well able to justify every aspect of the lesson. The same applies to using games: because they don’t look like “work” and because “work is the conceptual opposite of “play”, a sneaking feeling of guilt creeps in so easily as soon as we get the games out, even though play, not work is the normal learning mode of every creature. Because of this, games are often left until the last few minutes of the lesson, where there use can be justified as a reward for “getting the work finished” in the preceding 40 minutes. The fact is that a number of children especially boys will have sped learning 20 minutes before the “work” was finished, so even though the lesson may have “looked” ok to that watcher or to your conscience, half of it may have been a complete waste of time for some of the students. Those children ran out of petrol halfway through the journey: they needed a complete break, a change of activity, a change of sensory channel and a change of focus in order to continue learning. To change to focus or direction of a lesson is one way of preventing this. A properly constructed and well-presented game can achieve that end without losing sight of any of the learning objectives of the lesson. Five or even ten minutes playing a card game with spelling patterns or preposition prompts (or whatever else may be deemed necessary at the time) in the middle of the lesson can provide the mental refreshment that is needed, when it is needed, equipping the children for the next learning activity while giving valuable input on whatever skill/knowledge area has been selected. More often than not a properly constructed game needs more planning and more preparation than a conventional lesson and a lot harder than the case of just following a text book (the easy cop-out for teachers) So please think of games as more like a fuel s and don’t try to run the children on empty. Have fun and let the kids have fun and remember – Don’t wait until the end of the journey before you fill the tank with fuel. You don’t do your students any good just being out front demonstrating how clever you are, always remember the most important in a classroom are the students NOT YOU.




Location: Philippines

That’s a brilliant idea. Have some fun while encouraging your boys to read. You cannot be serious for the rest of your life in teaching. Add some spice..then the rest will follow.



Location: Philippines

That’s a brilliant idea. Have some fun while encouraging your boys to read. You cannot be serious for the rest of your life while teaching. Add some spice..then the rest will follow.



Location: Philippines

Positions: Parent, Classroom Teacher

Having fun while learning is the best way for a child to learn new things. If a kid enjoys what he is doing, he certainly will do it again and again which will make him learn more and more.


~~~a stone is not carved by force but by constant friction~~~



Location: Colorado, United States

Position: Classroom Teacher

I find that a good game can teach much much more than simply lecturing or reading.  When working on vocabulary, the game Apples to Apples is fun!  While teaching a class of 12 boys, I had them begging to play the game.  I used it as a reward.  Little did they know… they were learning too!



Location: PA, USA

Position: Classroom Teacher

I never played Apples to Apples because my own kids are not old enough but I will look into it for my classroom. I would love to hear some other game suggestions.

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