It’s hard to argue against language arts being the most imperative school subject for a student to learn. But while the study of nouns, verbs and conjunctions might not always rank as the hands-down class favorite, grasping the skill of using our English language properly is a must. Below are a few ways to sneak some language arts skills into a student-friendly game.

WORDHUNTERS: A chosen student is labeled “it” for the game and temporarily leaves the room. For the rest of the class, the teacher writes a secret code word on the board that will replace one specific word (try to keep the parts of speech the same). For example, the word “shoehorn” could be labeled as the replacement for “backpack.” The “it” student then re-enters the room and is granted twenty questions to guess the codeword. The class must answer all questions truthfully, such as “where does a person keep a shoehorn?”  Once the secret is revealed, the new “it” becomes the student whose question led to the code being cracked.   

LANGUAGE GRAB BAG: Ideal for early language students who are just beginning to learn about spelling, parts of speech, and synonym and antonym identification. Prior to the game, the teacher should assemble a list of items in the classroom that are searchable based on their language properties; a word spelled with double vowels, something shaped like an antonym for flat, a blue-colored noun, etc. Groups of students are then given ample time to find their portion of the list to share with the entire class later on.

RAINBOW RELAYS: This game involves the color-coding of various parts of speech with construction paper (nouns can be red, pronouns may be pink and action verbs yellow, for example). Students will be told the language color scheme before being broken up into teams. The teacher will then write a sentence on the board and ask the class to assemble the colored papers in the order of said sentence. The group that records the fastest time wins!