Back to Basics: Word Games & Puzzles

Welcome to the last post of our Back to Basics series! In this series we explored some of the foundational methods, practices and terminology for teaching reading and writing. This series is for those new to the field of literacy, beginning tutors or those who would just like a refresher. This final week we discuss using word games and puzzles in your tutoring.

Including word games and puzzles as part of a well-planned lesson can offer a great change of pace for literacy learners. Games can help them practice and reinforce what they’ve learned, build confidence and maybe even have a little fun! Word games and puzzles can include traditional worksheets, paper-based activities and board games. However, games and puzzles can be digital as well. Games can improve engagement with the material as well as minimize anxiety in the learning environment.

“Games allow for an active transfer-of-learning opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to practical experiences and activities.” – Bryce Anderson, Michelle Anderson, & Thomas Taylor

Cheryl Lovstrom outlined several benefits to using games for literacy learning:

  • warms up adult learners
  • creates better class dynamics
  • aids memorization
  • provides satisfaction and motivation
  • adds variety
  • allows for freer practice
  • works the brain
  • energizes
  • encourages interaction

“Experiencing positive emotions such as fun and enjoyment link with successful learning and self-perception of increased well-being.” – Dorothy Lucardie

Using games and incorporating a sense of fun in adult education has many benefits to the learner. Read more about the benefits of games and find suitable activities for your learners in the resources below.


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