Top 5 fun Orton Gillingham games & activities

Last Updated on November 30, 2022 by Editorial Team

Orton Gillingham is a widely regarded teaching approach designed for struggling readers, such as in the case of dyslexia. Named after reading and language pioneers, Samuel Torrey Orton (1879-1948) and Anna Gillingham (1878-1963), the Orton Gillingham approach focuses on teaching connections between letters and sounds. It also uses a multisensory approach to teach reading which involves using visualization, hearing, touch, and movement to form a connection. Other than that, it recognizes the learning needs of an individual student as the pace, learning style, topic strength varies from student to student.

Putting it simply, Orton Gillingham works amazingly for pupils with dyslexia. We know it, Teachers know it and Parents know it. However, for students, especially kids, this could be just another classroom lecture to them. Console them, or bribe them all you want, if they are not into it then there is no use in following it. They should be internally motivated for learning. You got to put joy in learning.

So, how could we achieve it?

As we are sort of adapting to a new learning process, there are numerous ways of turning it into fun. One such is to present it to the kids in a form that they like the most.

Guess what is it?

Yes, you guessed it right! GAMES. May it be indoor, outdoor, board, or mobile games. Kids learn while playing. They develop analytical, strategic, and spatial skills while doing it. Subconsciously, they use multi senses while learning through games.

We curated a list of the top 5 games and activities for learning through Orton Gillingham. Our focus in this post is on the games that follow Orton Gillingham approach, directly or indirectly, for learning. We tried reaching every corner for it and thus, came up with apps that people find useful in improving such skills.

1. Spin the Wheel

Spin the Wheel is still one of the most preferred classroom activities by teachers to introduce Reading Comprehension Strategies (RCS) and enhance students’ self-investment. It promotes language learning. Students feel motivated by such games as it facilitates knowledge and brings down tension and anxiety. Tutors can use Spin the Wheel and repurpose it to use Orton Gillingham approach.

wheel of fortune spin the wheel orton gillingham red words sight words

Orton Gillingham tutors can make the wheel by themselves. Cardboard cutouts or Paper wheels can serve the purpose. First, cut out a big circle out of cardboard or paper.

  • Divide the circle into 8 or 10 parts.
  • Color each part separately. Make sure the colors are light
  • Write different red words or sight words on each part.
  • Now, place the wheel in the center of the classroom. You can use the bullet pin to attach it to the notice board. Just make sure there is enough space to easily spin it. Place one marker at 0 degrees.
  • Now, ask one of the players to come and spin the wheel.
  • As the spin stops, take the sight word at which the marker is pointing. Ask the player about the sight word, such as making a sentence, how it can be used, and similar other questions.

2. Tic Tac Toe

The best way we uses to pass our time during boring lectures was playing tic-tac-toe on the back bench. Kids develop coordination, fine motor skills, and visual skills. It helps children learn how to follow rules and take turns. It can be repurposed with Orton Gillingham approach to make it more useful for students with learning disorders. To achieve this, we will use sight words or red words.

orton gillingham red words sight words tic tac toe
  • Orton Gillingham’s tutor will draw 2 parallel vertical lines and 2 parallel horizontal lines. Each pair crosses the other symmetrically to make it a 3 x 3 grid.
  • Let players choose two sight words, say ‘Gone’, and ‘There’.
  • Instead of ‘x’ and ‘o’, players will put their respective sight words.
  • Whoever completes 3 spots will win.

3. Puddle Jumping

For this game, we need a little bit of space for jumping. Tutors can take the activity outdoors as well. It follows the main approach of Orton Gillingham’s method and i.e. multisensory learning.

 Puddle Jumping
  • Cut out small portions of any shape from a chart paper
  • Write down sight words and red words on each portion.
  • Arrange the pieces on the floor. Make sure to keep them at a distance achievable easily by a mediocre jump.
  • Tutors can make the rules to jump to the next word or let the player create the ones. Wherever, it stops, a tutor can start discussing the respective word.

4. Lego Word Forming

Lego sets can also be repurposed in order to teach sight words to kids. Both base sets and attaching bricks are required.

Lego Word Forming

On attaching bricks, write a single letter. On base sets, write the sight word. Now make sure the alphabets on the attaching bricks completely fit on the base to make the respective sight word.

Orton Gillingham’s tutor can teach several other sight words in a similar way. It promotes multisensory learning and the information is retained for a way longer time.

5. Wordly Jenga

Jenga was one of our favorite pass-time during childhood. The whole of the family remains hooked to the stacks for hours. There are many benefits to playing Jenga, which include improving hand-eye coordination, and strategic thinking as well as developing motor, problem-solving, and social skills, just to name a few. Orton Gillingham tutors can repurpose it by writing sight words on the blocks. Use fewer blocks than usual. Now let the players stack them up. Tutors can then ask to pull a specific sight word block. and put it at the top. You can play as per existing rules or create new ones as you want to make it more interactive and fun.

Summing up,

These games will make this already child-friendly approach of teaching to be even more fascinating for your kid. Games have imbibed in them the magic of learning without the otherwise associated stress. Your children will thus learn that knowledge can be absorbed from anywhere, and the whole universe can be both their playground and their classroom!

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