Directions for Traditional Games




Around the World

Have all of the students sit in a circle. (Or the students can remain at their desks.) One student stands behind one student who is sitting. The teacher flashes them a sight word. Whoever says it first moves on to the next student. The student that makes it back to his or her own desk or starting point is the winner.




Create cards with sight words on them. Make some cards that say BANG. Put all cards in a can. Students take turns drawing a card and reading the word. If they get it right they may keep it. The can moves to the next person even if they get it right. If someone draws a BANG card, they must return all of their cards to the can. At the end of the game the person with the most cards wins.


Go Fish


Use Matchword software to create this game. If you do not have this software, you can simply create 2 of each word card. Deal students 5 cards each. Place the rest of the cards face down on the table. Students take turns asking each other for a word. If the child who is asked does not have the card, he tells the asker to go fish. The asker then chooses a card from the table. When students make a pair, they lay the pair down and take another turn. The person who gets rid of all of his or her cards first is the winner.


Snowman Building (or other seasonal object)


Cut out various pieces necessary to build a snowman (circles, hat, arms, carrot, buttons, scarf, etc.) Print a sight word (or CVC word) on each part. Turn all parts face down in the middle of the table. Students take turns choosing a part to complete their snowmen. They may keep the part if they can read the word. The first person to complete a snowman wins.


Art Words


Draw a seasonal picture on a paper. Make a copy for each student. Show each student a word. If he or she can read it they may glue an accessory to their picture.


Ex:   Draw a turkey. Students glue on feathers.

Write the new year (2004). Students glue on star shaped confetti.

        Draw a snowman. Students glue on snowflake confetti.



A variation of this is to draw the picture and have students color parts instead of gluing on objects.


Ex:   Draw a house with Christmas lights. If the student can read the word, he rolls a dice and colors that many lights.


Super Stacks


Write sight words (or CVC) words on cards. Assign each word a point value (1, 2, 3) based on difficulty. If students get the words correct, they take that number of connecting cubes. At the end of the game, the student with the tallest stack wins. Bonus: most children will practice patterning with this!


Bean Bag Toss


Divide a large piece of paper into boxes. Write sight words in each box. Have students sit in a row a short distance from the paper. Students take turns tossing a bean bag (or other small object) onto the paper. If they can read the word that they land on, they get a point. If they bean bag goes off the paper, they lose their turn (I use this rule primarily for older students).




The following games can be used with the whole class.

Word Hunt


Print words on brightly colored paper. Hide about 10-20 words around the room. Begin with all children on the carpet. Show them what color paper the words are on. Call out a word and have the class search for that word card. The winner is the person who finds it. If having the entire class moving is too challenging, divide the class into 4 teams and have a representative from each team search for the word.


Snowball Fight (only for the very brave)


This is a great activity for days when winter weather keeps children indoors during recess. Write sight words on pieces of white paper. Crumple the papers up to look like snowballs. Divide the class into 2 teams and have the teams line up on opposite sides of the room. When you blow a whistle teams throw the snowballs back and forth. Blow the whistle again after about 20 seconds and have everyone pick up one snowball. Children should read the words on their snowballs. Call on 2 or 3 people from each team to read. If they can read their words, their team earns points


Eraser Race


Print a variety of sight words on the board. Give 2 children each an eraser. Call out a word and the children race to be the first to erase it. The winner chooses the next person to compete (this keeps the one super reader from having too many turns).




Play the classic game but use seasonal images instead of a “man” (snowman, scarecrow, cupid, bunny, etc).


Hide and Seek


Make a tiny seasonal object (snowflake, heart, flower, etc). Have students close their eyes while you hide the object under one of the word wall words on the word wall. Students take turns guessing where it is hiding. Use sticky tack to stick the object to the word wall.

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