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15 Exciting Language Art Games for More Engaged Learning

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  • Teaching Strategies
  • Game-Based Learning

Mastering the English language isn't always a straightforward task. There are so many nuances and intricacies that students can struggle to catch on to. 

Adding fun English language arts games into your curriculum can help students across all grade levels improve grammar and learn other important language skills. 

Using educational games instead of just worksheets can make learning fun and engaging for students rather than a chore.

In this article, we will break down some of our favorite English Language Arts (ELAs) educational games broken down into helpful categories based on the game’s focus.

Let's get started! 

Online Games

Online games are a go-to with today's technology. 

And these games are not just for fun. There are lots of great options that embrace the idea of game-based learning in and out of the classroom.

Prodigy English

In this online game, students can build their own fantasy world while answering standard-aligned English questions. To earn energy for their character to craft game items, they must practice rhyming, phonetics, reading and spelling.

And it's easy to know exactly where your students are in the curriculum. There are easy-to-navigate teacher tools to track the progress of each one of your students. 

You can also build an assessment into their gameplay that tests for exactly what you need!

Prodigy has recently launched an app to make playing their online game even more accessible. Check out your favorite app store to download it now!

A young girl happily playing the Prodigy English game on a tablet in a classroom


Gimkit is an online gaming/quiz platform created by a high school student. 

Students earn rewards for playing games and invest those rewards into Gimkit upgrades that play to their strengths. It can be used with the whole class or students can play on their own.

There are many templates available online that you can use as inspiration or you can start from scratch and create your own quiz. 

PBS Kids

PBS Kids is an online platform that offers a variety of reading and English learning games for kids based around their most popular shows like Sesame Street and Wordgirl.

Just a few of the PBS Kids games available are Curious George word searches, build words with Super Why, practice reading with the Wild Kratts and create stories with Daniel the Tiger.


Kahoot! allows you to create your own online or classroom quizzes in just a few minutes. 

You can control what topics the quiz covers and focus on what is most important in your lesson plan. Or you can focus on the area that your students seem to be struggling with the most.

Once created, the quizzes can then be hosted live or via video conferencing with the class. You can also send them home as self-paced practice.

Spelling and Vocabulary Games

Spelling games can make the repetition of learning new vocabulary fun. 

And most teachers find that their students are more engaged and retain the information better when using games over just worksheets. No matter what vocabulary strategies you use, these games are easy to adapt and use in your classroom.

Screenshot of the Prodigy English grammar and vocabulary game


Hangman is a classic word game to play with your whole class. 

To play, you will pick a word and write the number of spaces on the board. Students will take turns choosing letters to guess the word. 

There are many creative modifications if the traditional way of playing is too morbid for you.

For example, some classrooms enjoy a melting ice cream cone or adding more items to a rocket for every missed letter.


Balderdash is an older board game that can be easily modified into a great language arts game.  

The main goal is for students to come up with definitions for unfamiliar words pulled from a bowl or randomly generated. 

You can divide their class into small groups then either choose words from the dictionary or add vocabulary from lessons. It’s up to you whether the objective is for the player to guess the correct answers or pick the silliest answer.

Another suggestion, especially for middle schoolers, is coming up with a nonsense definition that they try to convince other players is correct.

This game is simple and easy to modify. It can be played in class, online with a Google Doc or live during a class meeting. 

Sight Words Balloon Pop

Sight Words Balloon Pop is a fast-paced online reading game to help expand students’ sight word knowledge. 

Students will need to help Floyd lift his hot air balloon off the ground by listening for a sight word and then quickly finding the word on the screen and popping that balloon before time is up.

Sight Words Balloon Pop helps learners work on sight word speed. This helps prepare early readers for elementary school.

Talk to Me Alphabet

Talk to Me Alphabet is another fun online phonics activity for pre-k students who are learning names and sounds. While playing, students can tap with the keyboard or tap on a letter on the screen to hear the name or sound.

The layout can be set to be in alphabetical order or shown as a QWERTY keyboard. The different setups can make it a bit trickier for your student to locate the ABCS on their keyboard. 

This game also illustrates both the uppercase and lowercase letters for the student to see.


Scrabble remains a timeless game and is great spelling practice. It can also be an introduction to using the dictionary. 

To focus even more on English concepts, you can use vocabulary words like phonemes and morphemes when helping students think of how to add the words already on the board. You can also work on blending strategies with younger learners when creating words.

In addition to simply playing the game giving language arts practice, the scoring gives a chance to sneak in some math practice.

Image of a Scrabble board with the letters U, S, and A forming the word "USA" on it

Grammar Games

Learning English grammar with all its rules can be difficult and a bit of a drag for students as well as teachers. 

Using grammar games can make it more approachable and enjoyable for everyone.

A teacher and kids sitting on floor in classroom, engaged in learning

Extreme Sentence Surgeons: Saving Critically Injured Paragraphs

This game is one where students’ paragraph surgery skills are tested as they have to correct “critically injured” paragraphs inflicted by various grammar mistakes. To add to the drama, players are only given a limited number of tries.

It is up to players to fix bad capitalization, correct spelling words, add commas and change words that are used incorrectly.

This game is an engaging way to have students learn editing. The skills can be used not only to edit their papers but better prepare them for peer reviewing.

Part-of-Speech Bingo

Part-of-Speech Bingo can challenge the knowledge of learners in second grade just as much as middle school students. 

To play, you will create a bingo sheet with the different parts of speech, like verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, interjections or prepositions. Then, students mark the parts of speech that correspond to words you read aloud.

There are templates online for you to download and use or you can create your own using the word processor of your choice.

Grammar Auction

Grammar auction requires a bit of preparation to make the template but otherwise is a simple way to make a fun activity for grammar. 

To start, split your class into teams. If you are teaching online, utilize the breakout rooms to give groups time to chat. 

Then using their allotted pretend money, the teams will bid on whether a sentence is right or wrong.

Interactive Games

Interactive games translate into more engaged, responsive students who participate in your lessons more thoroughly. This often translates into better reading comprehension and improved language art skills.

A classroom full of eager children raising their hands to participate in a lively discussion

ELA Escape Room

An ELA escape room is perfect for an end-of-unit activity or larger celebration since it requires some set up and planning time. 

You can transform your room into a themed escape room where the “clues” are all about language learning. You can go big with lots of decorations or keep it simpler. 

For example, in a figurative language room, students need to complete a series of tasks by understanding concepts like idioms, oxymorons or similes.

Homerun Homophones

Homerun Homophones is a game to practice homophones in a baseball format. 

There are two versions that you can choose from. One requires your students to recognize the homophone in print. Or the second challenges them to produce the spelling of the homophones. 

In both games, the teacher stands in the middle with the printed homophone. Each student steps up as a “batter” to try to recognize and match the word to the appropriate picture/spelling to get on base.

You will need a room large enough to have four bases to play. You'll also need printed homophone picture cards. You can have the students create them special for the game just to make sure they are big enough for everyone to read.

Last Person Standing

Last Person Standing has students stand in a circle and pass a baton to each other. Each time the baton is passed, the student who gets it has to come up with a different word that fits your decided theme. 

Anyone who repeats a word or cannot come up with a word sits down until the last person standing wins.

To make it more complicated, you can add a rule that students must come up with only synonyms or antonyms to the word said before them.

How to Use Fun Games to Get the Most From Your Language Arts Unit

Image showing gameplay of the Prodigy English game

Language arts games and other English games are a great way to add some fun and diversity to your lesson plans. There are many games to choose from that can help you teach any language arts concept. From the youngest learners to high school students, every student will enjoy these games. 

If you know that you want to add games to your curriculum but don’t have the time to get them all together, try adding Prodigy! Getting this game-based learning approach set up is incredibly easy. And the game automatically adapts to your students as it sees what they know and what they need to work on some more. 

Prodigy is also great for:

  • Reducing math anxiety 
  • Creating homework and test study guides that align with US state standards 
  • Increasing students’ engagement with classroom material

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