selective focus photo of pile of assorted title books
3-12, Books, Games, Language Arts

Bring Your Own Book

A couple of months ago I bookmarked a Tweet from TCEA sharing this article from @LindsayAnnLearn. I finally got around to reading it, and I found tons of ideas for learning games to use in an ELA secondary classroom. (If you do Socratic Dialogues in your classroom, I recommend taking a look at how she uses playing cards to spice it up.) Some of the games are sold commercially, but could be adapted easily for upper elementary. One of them is, “Bring Your Own Book,” from @DoBetterGames, and the good news is that you can download your own printable cards and instructions FOR FREE if you subscribe to their newsletter. Scroll down to the part of this page until you see, “Print & Play/Mailing List.”

There are four sets of rules: Classic, Democratic, Royale and Cutthroat. For any of these version, the players sit in a circle, each with a book of his/her choice. Cards with different prompts are turned over (one for each round), and the players need to try to find a quote in the book that matches the prompt. The main difference in the versions is how it’s determined who wins each round with the “best” match, for which that player wins a card. Once a player has obtained 4 or 5 cards, depending on the number of players, they are declared the winner. Here are some examples of prompts in the printable version:

Click here and scroll down to subscribe and receive your own printable cards and instructions.

You may need to remove some of the prompts depending on the ability levels of your students. The free download also includes blank cards so you or the students can add your own. I love the idea that you could do this with self-selected books that students are independently reading or even assigned class novels.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that there are also some free add-ons in the email you will receive, like these samples from the “Christmas Revelers” page:

If you’re looking for more game ideas, definitely take a look at Lindsay’s post. Also, here is a post I published for NEO on using talk show games in the classroom, and I’ll be adding this post to my Wakelet of Fun Stuff.

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