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9 Reading comprehension games and activities

An elementary school boy sounds out a word in a literacy classroom

As students shift from learning to read to reading to learn, incorporating interactive games and activities gives them a chance to practice and strengthen their reading comprehension skills (not to mention makes you the cool teacher).

Reading comprehension games and activities can be used in many different ways:

Activities for small group practice

  • Book discussions during small groups or guided reading practice
  • Independent learning stations and rotating centers After school library program or an enrichment period
  • Indoor recess

When you’re looking beyond worksheets (which we applaud you for), there are a variety of games that are easy to play, customizable to your grade level and enjoyable (a win, win, win).

As if you needed more reasons to add these resources to your classroom, using interactive games and activities will help your students:

  • Gain critical reading confidence skills
  • Practice responding to the text
  • Repurpose a game they have seen or played

4 Exciting Reading Comprehension Games and Activities for the Classroom

Photos of different reading comprehension games and activities for the classroom.

We scoured the web to bring you some of our favorite finds. But before you jump into the content below, make sure these games fit into the bigger picture and are introduced in the appropriate order. Download our Comprehension Continuum to see a recommended sequence for teaching comprehension strategies.

Many of these fun ideas can be easily implemented in your classroom.

1. Socratic Soccer Ball: This fun find from English Teacher blog B’s Book Love can be tailored to any grade level as you write comprehension  questions on a soccer ball.  Want to be able to change the questions?  Write the questions on strips of masking tape and easily add and change them on the soccer ball.

Photo collage titled Socratic Soccer Ball.

2. Guided Reading Beach Ball: Beach balls make everything more fun. Check out this idea from an SLP blogger. All you need are a few beach balls (definitely get a backup or two in any size from your local dollar store), a sharpie marker, and a list of questions. You can also find them prepped with comprehension sentence stems to help students identify key story elements and improve recall.  Throw, or roll, the guided reading beach ball and whatever part your thumb lands on you answer that question.  Whether you use a soccer ball or a beach ball both will appeal to your kinesthetic learners.

Photo of a beach ball used for a reading comprehension game.

3. Jenga Comprehension Game: this twist on a classic game will be a hit with every student. Add generic comprehension questions to a Jenga game (age appropriate), face the writing down so students can’t see the question before pulling the block out, and have students answer the question from the block they pull. Use this activity to work on multiple skills or one skill at a time to improve comprehension.   Find scraps of wood at a nearby home store and your students can start building their way to better reading comprehension.

Jenga reading game stacked up.

4. Roll & Retell: In partner activities or small groups, students roll the dice, then retell based on what it lands on. This strategy, originally found on Fun in First and expanded upon in An Apple for the Teacher, can be used strictly for comprehension, as well as oral practice before beginning a writing exercise. Just print, laminate, grab some dice, and get started

Photo of game instructions for Roll and Retell with dice.

Other resources for reading comprehension games

Research supports the use of multisensory instructional techniques to engage students, and improve their performance. Bring manipulatives into your classroom with these multisensory phonics games.

We hope you enjoyed these great ideas!

Reminder – download our Comprehension Strategies Continuum that shows the six recommended comprehension strategies and how to introduce them in your classroom.

About 95 Percent Group

95 Percent Group is an education company whose mission is to build on science to empower teachers—supplying the knowledge, resources, and support they need—to develop strong readers. Using an approach that is based in structured literacy, the company’s One95 literacy ecosystem integrates professional learning and evidence-based literacy products into one cohesive system that supports consistent instructional routines across tiers and is proven and trusted to help students close skill gaps and read fluently. 95 Percent Group is also committed to advancing research, best practices, and thought leadership on the science of reading more broadly. For additional information on 95 Percent Group, visit:

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