In January we return to the topic of reading and want to draw your attention to literature games. Seppo games don’t always need to be about subjects that have clear answers, but you can also challenge players to really analyse and reflect. We at Seppo are big fans of reading games. We also think that for example substituting that usual essay about a novel read in English class with a Seppo game, offers the pupils a great way to make their way through the book.
The Game of the Month, The Borrowers, based on a book by Mary Norton, was made by Ruta Gajauskaite. The game was created for a year 4 English book club, which ran alongside English classes in Vilnius International School. Ruta was the moderator of the book club. With eight international students in the book club, all with varying level of English, they used the game to jazz up the routine discussion about the novel. Ruta says she found the game a great help with observing the children’s thinking. The game itself promoted team work in the group and encouraged to peer-to-peer tutoring.
In the game Ruta has made use of many different types of exercises. In some exercises players need to find information from a specific page of the book, in some of them they are expected to think what they have read and to analyse it. In one of the exercises for example the player is asked to think what emotions the character of the book is going through.
The great thing about literature / book games is that you can very easily adjust the degree of difficulty of the exercises. Do you want to test if the pupils read the book? Or do you want to see if they understood the book? If the book is expected to be read at home, you can use the game to make sure they keep up with the task and the timeline given for reading. If you want to tie the game to a certain novel, like Ruta did, you don’t even need to come up with the story yourself! More general games for reading and literature can also be made, for example in the case that each pupil picks their own book to read. Then you just need to be a little bit more creative with the exercises. Nothing you cannot do!