8 Engaging Games For Guided Reading

Guided reading is a research-based instructional strategy that teaches pupils how to interpret literature. It was first launched in the late 1990s and is still one of the most popular methods of teaching reading at the primary level. The method of guided reading teaches students reading skills in small groups based on their individual and combined group abilities. Guided reading sessions are primarily concerned with the development of comprehension skills, as well as phonics and word recognition.

The reason for combined monitoring can be traced to the fact that here kids work in groups studying texts matched explicitly to what they prefer and can do instead of what they are supposed to do. 

Thus, guided reading allows for more focused teaching and differentiation, Furthermore, working with small groups enables the teacher to discuss texts in depth and ensure that the kids are fully engaged. 

What’s in it for struggling readers?

As mentioned above, text selection is critical for those who struggle with reading, and guided reading provides just that. Therefore, high-interest novels with a modest word count can entice reluctant readers while also developing their abilities and confidence. The texts are carefully chosen, and the associated instructor guides provide tools and discuss tactics for assisting complex readers. 

Guided reading in a small group allows teachers to work closely with students who need extra help developing their reading skills. However, if you still have difficulty appointing guided reading, read ahead to uncover some doable strategies and interesting online and offline games.

Fun guided reading games for home and classroom 

Though many children learn to read in class, the majority of them improve and become proficient readers in the comfort of their homes.  The guided reading activities keep early readers engaged and growing while also assisting hesitant readers in mastering the fundamentals. Here are some of our favorite online games to make reading more enjoyable!

1. Catch the bubbles 

Catch the bubbles 

When we speak about guided reading for toddlers, special attention goes to teaching them the alphabet. This game will be ideal for that! Here you can recite the alphabet from A to Z and then ask the child to burst the balloon that he/she sees.  

How to Play catch the bubbles 

  • Start the game by clicking the play button in the middle of the screen
  • Read and recite the alphabet for the kids 
  • Burst the balloon when you see the alphabet you are reciting 

The game is designed in a manner that will not only allow them to learn the alphabet but along with that, they can learn how to identify it, which is the ultimate motive of the exercise. 

2. Main Idea 

Main Idea 

 The main idea is a game where kids need to test their intelligence and decoding skills. Here, all you need to do is read the story to the child, explain to them the bytes and bites of the story, and then from what they understood ask them to choose the most suitable point that truly reflects the idea. 

How to play the main idea 

  • Start the game by selecting the mouse control or touch control option. 
  • The screen will prompt a story; read it for your child.
  • Then look at the options mentioned below and ask your child to select the one that resembles the story’s main idea. 
  • Use the mouse to handle the cloud and place it above the correct answer to strike lighting.  
  • Once you select the correct answer, the game will automatically move to the next stage. 

The prime motive of this game is to prepare the kid to decode the text and select the response that highlights the point the best.

3. Sled dogs dash

Sled dogs dash

Guided instructions on every step of the reading path are what guided reading stands for and are precisely what this game does. Sled dogs dash allows the child to hear and read the instructions and then act on them. The game allows the child to learn multiple words, from introductions to selecting the dog and delivering the package. Furthermore, you can’t ignore the added advantage of fun kids have while feeding dogs treats and saving them from obstacles. 

How to play molly of Denali 

  • Start the game by clicking the play button 
  • Choose a sledding mission 
  • Ask the child to listen carefully to the instructions and mission.
  • Once the mission is stated, click the arrow to select the dogs
  • You can read your child the name of the dogs and ask them to select any five. 
  • Once they have chosen the dog team, they need to pick the gear for the trip.
  • You can ask the child to steer clear of the obstacles and collect dog treats on the way. 

The game immensely highlights the essence of guided reading and works in your favor as there are reading instructions instilled in the game. 

Guided reading games to play offline

4. Circle the Word 

ircle the Word 

In this activity, you will read a newspaper piece and ask the child to thoroughly follow the passage and underline the vowels that are repeated. This ensures that people are reading carefully and following your sentences. Another variant of the same game is to leave out specific words while reading and ask the child to highlight them.

Things you require

  • A newspaper  
  • Pen 

The prime benefit of the activity is that it will get the kids ready for the guided reading sessions while also increasing their concentration span.

5. Flipbook diaries

Flipbook diaries

Make a flipbook diary by writing alphabets A to Z on each page as a warm-up exercise. When all of the diaries have an alphabet on each page, dictate a word and let him figure out how many letters are in it. Based on that, ask the child to highlight the alphabet used and arrange them sequentially. You can begin with essential words and eventually progress to more difficult ones that will have him scratching his head.

Things you require

  • Tiny flipbook diaries
  • A Pen

Experimenting is an excellent approach for children to discover and learn new things. A flip book for reading words can do the same thing because it prepares children to follow even the most complicated words easily.

6. Bring Fiction to Action 

Bring Fiction to Action 

Choose a story that your child enjoys or has read several times. This could be from a storybook or any subject on their curriculum. Allow him to create some props that may be needed in the plot or to dress up as a character. Set the tone, sit on a sofa, and have your child act out the narrative for you. Request that he combines narrating with any activities indicated in the story.

Things you require

  • Simple storybooks
  • Some props or attractive clothes

Reading can only be beneficial when it is read out or experienced again. Let your child do the same by being their storyteller.

7. Television To The Rescue

Television To The Rescue

Television may be an excellent educational tool. Setting limits, making wise choices, watching together, discussing what you see, and promoting follow-up reading are the keys to successful TV viewing. Limit your child’s TV viewing, but involve them in selecting which programs to watch and reading the TV schedule together. Make sure your child is viewing television with closed captions. When feasible, watch the shows with your child, and when you do, discuss what you have seen so your youngster can better understand the programs. Look for programs that will pique your child’s attention and encourage reading (for example, dramatizations of children’s books and wildlife and science programs).

Things you require

  • A weekly TV schedule

Here in this way, the TV will act as a guided reading, and this will allow the kids to have fun while also reading and following the captions along with the dialogues. 

8. Describe the photo

Describe the photo

Arrange all of the pictures around your toddler and label the flashcards and photos with their names. By reading it aloud, instruct your youngster to place the correct flash card on the appropriate picture you described. This essential task can help assign meaning to words and is helpful for those who are just starting out.

What You Need

  • A collection of pictures
  • Flash cards and a pen

Guided reading doesn’t just mean a teacher reading text and kids listening to it. It can also be taken to a more straightforward task where a teacher decodes the photo, and the child identifies it just like an essential match the following. 

Strategies to make guided reading more manageable

Guided reading can be effective when inculcated through some books, games or apps. Hence, here are a few other strategies that can be used by educators and parents. 

1. Reading out loud 

Reading out loud, or any other sort of small group lesson should no longer be used in guided reading instruction or any other type of small group lesson. When the teacher assigns reading out loud, each student reads a segment of the material aloud for the class.


Instead of reading out loud, offer your kids a chunk of time (7-12 minutes, depending on the number of your group) to read the guided reading text independently. You can check in with each reader throughout this time. Most of your upper elementary kids should already be fluent readers, so you don’t need to listen to them read. You may check their comprehension by asking comprehension questions or asking what reading technique they are working on.

2. Preview what you are reading for your students

Teachers may often spend the first few minutes of their guided reading session previewing the content and letting the students know what they will be reading. This frequently takes the form of the teacher presenting the title and reading aloud to the pupils a scripted blurb from the book or guided reading lesson that provides a brief synopsis of the text.


Let the kids lead the book introduction. We want students to be able to figure out what a text is about before reading it alone, and allowing them to accomplish this work with guidance during guided reading is a terrific method to enhance their independence in this area. Instead of the teacher presenting the book, consider asking the students these questions to get them to preview the material as a class.

3. Highlight unique vocabulary words

This is another thing that the teacher frequently leads. Teachers will usually preview and teach difficult vocabulary words BEFORE pupils meet them. The idea is that if students know the word before encountering it, they will be more likely to understand it.


Instead of teaching kids specific phrases that might look tough, remind them that they have the tools to figure out and solve tricky words. Remind kids that they are problem solvers and that if they come across words they don’t know or understand, they may utilize tools to assist them in finding out what they mean. Encourage children to write down difficult words or phrases for them so that you may go over them later in the guided reading lesson. You might also want to provide them with a resource, such as an anchor chart or a strategy card, to help remind them what they can do when encountering a problematic term.

4. Seek responses

When students respond correctly, it is easy to say, “excellent work” or “that’s right.” When you affirm a student’s answer, you are teaching them to come to you (or another authorized person) to see if they got the correct answer. Your goal is to develop self-sufficient readers. You want to ensure that your pupils have the skills they need to monitor their thinking and make conclusions about what they’re reading on their own when you’re not around to validate their assumptions.


Instead of being the ones to validate and support kids’ views, let them be the ones to do so. Inquire more, such as “why do you think that?” “How do you know you’re right?” “How can you be sure your thinking is correct?” These types of inquiries can assist students in learning that they don’t need the teacher’s approval to monitor their thinking but can check in with themselves.


It takes work to adopt guided reading effectively, but the effort is extremely gratifying. Your kids will begin to apply what you’ve taught them, becoming more independent and achieving increasing reading competency and achievement levels. Small group practice will return your time and energy investment with new skills and knowledge. Try daily guided reading after using the aforementioned exercises and witness your learners’ progress!

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