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“My son could not understand letters, he used to run away from reading sessions. However, things took a magical turn when his teacher told me about Orton Gillingham Board Games and showed how to use these. With the help of these games, he did develop a liking for learning phonics, letters, spellings, though in unconventional ways.”
This is not the experience of just one person. Statistics reveal that about 10-15% of school-going children in the US suffer from learning difficulties. The biggest challenge faced by the parents of these children is how to equally pace them up among mainstream students. A documentary, ‘Our Dyslexic Children‘ has further explored this issue quite brilliantly. It showcases the ways a section of parents adopted to make learning easier for their children whose brains are wired differently but the intelligence is intact; in fact, way better than others!
All these anecdotes, stories, documentaries have emphasized one common thing – a need for gamification of learning procedures. That is why; researchers and educators use intervention tools like manipulatives, board games, flashcards, and other teaching materials and classroom intervention methods so that the education of basic nature is made available to one and all.
Need of Orton Gillingham approach based board games
Orton Gillingham method is not some formula but a well-designed approach. It asserts the need of understanding the learning curve of dyslexic children and adjusting the teaching methods according to it. The board games based on the Orton Gillingham approach offer a structured method of imparting basic skills of reading. The main characteristics of such board games are:
- Multi-sensory: Since reading is too difficult for dyslexic children, the use of multi-sensory tools that involve auditory or tactile-kinesthetic modalities is promoted in these board games.
- Sequential learning: Dumping all information on to a dyslexic is not going to do any good. Children need a systematic learning pattern featuring gradual accumulation of skills to accomplish the proficiency attainment objectives. Many board games based on this approach stress upon moving from very basic like sounding out letters to ultimately writing spellings and words.
- Direct and clear approach: Dyslexic children need additional support to make neurological connections among the areas of the brain devoted to visual, sounding out, and literal meaning processing.
- Corrective and skill-building ability: All OG approach-inspired board games have ample scope for letting children correct their approach, see the area where improvement is required, and monitor the progress.
Sounds interesting, isn’t it?
So, take a look at the 5 most promising Board games Based on the Orton Gillingham approach that can make your kids fluent in phonics, reading, spelling, and sentence building kind of basic language development skills.
5 Best Orton Gillingham Board Games
1. ThinkFun Zingo Word Builder Early Reading Game
Zingo word builder is one of the most popular reading-and-spelling games that help students acquire proficiency in letter recognition and their sound outs, to start with. Further, this game involves putting the letters together that correspond to the sequential learning characteristic of the OG approach.
Kids can learn about the CVC (consonant-vocal-consonant) method of forming words by selecting the appropriate words, and eventually building spellings. The kids cannot form spellings unless they have used the letters in the correct sequence. Thus, this game makes the best use of the Orton Gillingham approach, and help the kids overcome the reading difficulties the gamification way.
2. Boggle Junior
Boggle Junior offers visual and tactile support for learning spellings and relating them to the pictures corresponding to the words formed. This spelling and the word-making game has very interesting dice like tools that carry letters.
One child can take the cue card and put it on the slot, the other copies the letters from the picture and tries to make words by putting dice to form the spelling. All letters are underlined to ensure that kids understand the correct formation of letters.
Spelling formation is an outcome of gradual learning and is one of the advanced stages of language building, which forms part of the preschool’s curriculum. Thus, with the introduction of the play method, children with reading difficulties can become intelligent spelling bees with Boggle Junior.
3. Square Panda Multisensory Phonics Playset
Letters carved into tangible objects engage children deeply and help take the confusion surrounding letter shape appreciably. Children born with writing difficulty can use their tactile, auditory, and visual senses to gain language literacy by playing this board game utilizing the Orton Gillingham approach.
The Square Panda Multisensory Phonics set sends auditory prompts to the player. Next, the player picks the letters based on the cue and forms spelling. This game creates an ideal arrangement for learning phonics, spelling, and words. The clarity on CVC spelling format is further enhanced with color-coded consonants and vowels, allowing the player to get the word-building concepts reinforced amply in the mind.
4. Learning Resources Alphabet Island, Letter & Sounds Game
When the letters come out of books and take positions in cards, kids find it easier to relate. Alphabet Island is a board game that attracts children when they have become well-acquainted with letter sounds, shapes, and phenomes.
The letter discs pop out from a dolphin’s mouth and kids need to arrange them to make the words with the beginning sound starting with that letter. Upper case and lower case letter matching is another aim of this game that pushes gradually to higher levels of learning. Upfront, as well as step-by-step learning support provided by this game, coincides with the Orton Gillingham approach and boosts learning with added sustainability.
5. WordSearch Fun Word Puzzle Game
Word identification and spelling building skills are the two main outcomes of this board game. Picking specifically the spelling building skill as a core objective of this game offers better clarity of understanding the learning objective to the players.
They are given clues by spinning the wheel, and the challenge is to find as many words as possible on the board in the given time frame. Thus, this board game qualifies to be a perfect tool for building spelling fluency in growing children. Their word identification skills come into play in this game enabling them to pick up spellings fast.
Board games using the Orton Gillingham approach offer perfect learning material to the kids who need gamification support to build basic language skills. These games ease the learning process by laying stress on various aspects of reading skills such as phonics, letter, and word identification and spelling building, and others, and groom the kids eventually into confident and proficient language enthusiasts.
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