Adult Reading Games

Literacy games may make reading more accessible to adults.

Though resources and games for children's literacy abound, you might need some fun ways to promote and improve adult literacy. These games should be adult-friendly in theme and context but still enjoyable and approachable for students.

1 Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

A class is divided into groups of four or five people. Groups need to find something in the room that begins with each letter of the alphabet. The first group to find items for all the letters in the alphabet reads the words aloud. The group wins if its words are correct. If not, the game continues until someone successfully reaches the goal.

Vocabulary Builder

2 Mystery Boxes

Students divide into groups and decorate the outside of a box with magazine clippings and other images related to a certain crime. They should depict details like characters, setting and time. Students write the name of the crime on the outside of the box ("car theft," for example). The student places additional clues inside the box (written on a piece of paper). Participants then exchange boxes and write down a detailed story based on the written clues and title of the crime as well as the images.

3 Crazy Word Chains

Students sit in a circle and clap slowly together. The first student says a word. The student sitting adjacent to her has to come up with a word that starts with the last letter of the previous word. For example, if the first participant says "yell," the next in line has to come up with an "L" word. All this needs to happen in rhythm to the clapping, so it requires quick thinking. The game starts over when someone says the wrong word or someone misses a turn.

4 People Poems

A student creates a poem based on the letters in her name. For example, a student named Miles would create a poem with words starting with "M," "I," "L," "E" and "S". Each word should describe an aspect of his personality. His poem might read, "Motivated, intelligent, loving and energetic." Students should be encouraged to use dictionaries and thesauruses to help them out.

5 Online Games

The National Adult Literacy Agency runs a website with various computer games that promote literacy. A student can complete crossword puzzles, word searches, word sorting games and anagrams. This provides a way for students to improve literacy interactively. The crossword puzzles are theme-based, so you might study a subject and introduce relevant vocabulary before a student completes the puzzle. This helps reinforce new words.