Free Reading Games for 4th & 5th Grade Students

Incorporate reading games that students can play by themselves and in groups.
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Reading games for fourth and fifth graders should instruct students in the areas of comprehension and inference as well as assisting with grammar instruction. Most importantly, however, reading games should help motivate students to want to read. You can find free, interactive reading games online, but you can easily use offline games that are just as creative and don' require any advanced technological devices.

1 Reading Retention Recall

Give each student a short story to read that he or she has never read before. Explain to the class they they will have 10 minutes to read their stories, and that if they finish before the 10 minutes are up they cannot go back and re-read; they can only read once. Afterward, they will each have to attempt to retell the story to the class in as much detail as possible. Encourage them to focus on critical plot events, the characters and the general theme of the story. Additionally, require each student to memorize one quote from the story, a single line, that they can incorporate into their retelling of the story.

Vocabulary Builder

2 Comprehension Cut-Up

Cut out newspaper articles that are at your students' reading levels, and remove the headlines. Then, split the class into groups of three and then pass out three articles to each group. Explain that they've all just been given editorial jobs in your newspaper. The assignment would be to read the articles and assign appropriate headlines. Each student would have to read an article, and then exhibit comprehension skills to determine which components of the article are most important. After each student finishes, have them trade articles within their group. After each student has headlined all three articles, have them compare headlines and discuss their methods for creating them.

3 Parts of Speech Practice

Grammar Gorillas is a game that incorporates reading with an exercise in identifying the parts of speech. This ten-question game provides ten sentences, and asks the player to identify a particular part of speech in each one. For example, the grammar gorilla might ask you to identify the preposition in the sentence "The fish quickly swam away from the fisherman's nets." This game tallies your correct and incorrect answers, and can be set at the beginning to include all parts of speech, or just nouns and verbs. You can allow students to play this game individually or display it on an interactive whiteboard. You can find this simple game on's Fifth Grade Games for Kids section.

4 Priceless Plug-Ins's version of Mad Libs allows students to create silly passages that they can read and share to entertain themselves and the class. The game starts by asking students to select words from word banks of specific parts of speech, and then inserts those words into a passage that the player has not yet seen. After the player answers all of the word prompts, the game displays the finished passage. For example, the first word prompt might ask for an adjective. If the player chooses the adjective "horrible," then at the end of the game the player might see that the first sentence reads "Harry sells horrible hot dogs."

Christopher Cascio is a memoirist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and literature from Southampton Arts at Stony Brook Southampton, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in the rhetoric of fiction from Pennsylvania State University. His literary work has appeared in "The Southampton Review," "Feathertale," "Kalliope" and "The Rose and Thorn Journal."