Top 5 fun Orton Gillingham games & activities

Spread the word

Last Updated on September 10, 2020 by Editorial Team

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

So, how could we achieve it?

As we are sort of adapting 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, strategical and spatial skills while doing it. Subconsiously, they use multisenses while learning through games.

We curated a list of top 5 games and activities for learning through Orton Gillingham. Our focus in this post is on the games that follows Orton Gillingham approach, directly or indirectly, for learning. We tried reaching every corner for it and thus, coming 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 activity by teachers to introduce Reading Comprehension Strategies (RCS) and enhance students’ self-investment. It promotes language learning. Students feel motivated with such games as it facilitates knowledge and brings down the 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 wheel can serve the purpose. First cutout a big circle out of cardboard or paper.

  • Divide the circle in 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 on 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 degree.
  • 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 in 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 tutor will draw 2 parallel vertical lines and 2 parallel horizontal lines. Each pair crossing each other symmetrically to make it 3 x 3 grid.
  • Let players choose two sight words, say ‘Gone’, ‘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 outdoor as well. It follows the main approach of orton gillingham method and i.e. multisensory learning.

  • 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 mediocre jump.
  • Tutors can make the rules for jump to next word or let the player create the ones. Wherever, it stops, tutor can start the 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.

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

Orton GIllingham tutor can teach several other sight words the 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. Whole of the family remain 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.

Spread the word

Leave a Comment