To liven up your dry reading materials bring a student from each team to the front of the class and have them try to finish the extract whilst you are trying to distract them with silly comments, sound effects, funny faces or anything else that can distract people without touching them. Award points for the first person to finish reading or the one who kept a straight face for the longest.
DVD control button reading
Draw a DVD player style control panel on the board i.e. a box with a series of buttons; play, pause, slow motion (rather than rewind) and fast. Use the symbols that you would see on a DVD player as they are universal and break down language barriers. Have the class read out the extract or story, when you hit a button they must adapt their reading style according i.e. start, stop, slow down, speed up etc. Develop the game further by adding buttons with happy and sad faces, musical notes (indicating that they sing instead of read. Be creative. The possibilities are endless.
One student one word
Before you start reading as a class put your students into teams. Go around the room having the students read the story or extract- one person, one word. When a student says the wrong word or delays for more than 3 seconds, give the other team a point. Encourage them to be alert and keep a good fast pace going.
Read to me- circle
Get the students stood in a circle with their reading books. Designate pairs within the circle and instruct them to read to each other simultaneously. When you shout switch they turn to the person to their other side and start reading to them instead.
Read to me- walk around
Put students into pairs. Tell them to stand with their partners in a free space in the classroom. Tell them to begin reading to each other simultaneously. When you shout switch they must quickly find another partner to read with.
Walk and read
Tell your students to stand up and hold the reading book close to their faces. Have them read the book whilst walking around in a certain direction or in any random fashion. Tell them to hop and skip etc to mix it up.
Tell your class to read the text whilst displaying a certain emotion or situation i.e. a family member just died you are preaching, you have just won the lottery.
Stand up and clap
Before you start reading, set up a rule that when a certain piece of grammar or word appears the students have to stand up and clap then continue. You can experiment with the action to mix it up.
Upside down reading
Put students into pairs. Have them hold their book upside down and race to read through the extract. After each round tell them to switch partners and do it again.
Choose a student to read to the rest of the class. At any point the others can interrupt with a relevant question about the material. The reader must answer all questions and try to get through the material.
One team one sentence
Simply read the text with one team saying a sentence then the next team and so on.
Split your class into two teams. Team A begins reading. When you shout “monkey” the reading switches over to the next person on the opposite team. Shout out different words every so often to confuse them.
Before you start say that words with a particular grammatical value are banned. This can be anything from words that begin with a certain letter or a past participle verb. Read the text and when a banned word emerges students must replace it with a sound or a different word.
Divide the class into two. When you raise your left hand, the left side read and vice versa.
Read through a piece of text- one student, one word. When a punctuation mark comes up the student it lands on is out.
Draw a volume gage on the board. Have the class reading the text and change the volume by pointing with your pen.
Memorising the material
Simply have students close their books and have them recall words and sentences from the text in order to win points for their team.
New word comprehension race
Get a student from each team to stand at the front of class. Have them go against each other to explain the meaning of a new word at the same time. Judge who manages to do it better and quicker then give a point to their team.
Tell students to choose 10 random words from a reading extract and write them down. Read out sentences from the text in a random order. When students hear their words they cross them off. The first student to cross off all their words is the winner and becomes the reader.
Simply read the text backwards. To make it more interesting read it one word, one student and give a point to the other team when a student makes a mistake.
Word jigsaw puzzle
Make a copy of the text. Cut it up into different slips of paper. Have the students work in pairs to piece it together in the correct order then read it.