9 Games to Inspire Reluctant Readers

There are many ways to discover a love of reading!

Get your reluctant readers excited to pickup a book or checkout a different genre with these fun activities!


1. Genre Sort Tic-Tac-Toe

Call students over to a table of books. They choose a genre to play tic-tac-toe with a peer. The first person to get three correct genres in a row wins!



2. Main Idea / Supporting Details Scavenger Hunt

This idea comes from The Schroeder Page, Some students are given a main idea written on a paper headband. Other students have supporting details written on paper wristbands. Children have to go around the room and find the group they belong to. (4 in a group: 1 main idea and 3 supporting details).



3. Mysterious Books


To get students to try reading a book outside of their norm, have them go on a “blind date with a book!” Wrap books up in newspaper so the cover is concealed. They choose one of the wrapped books and rate it after the first three pages. Then, they continue to read and see if they change their mind. Click here for the printable (above) to go along with the activity!

chair music read


4. Reading Musical Chairs

Lay a book on each chair and turn on some music. When the music stops, kids plop in the nearest chair and check out the book in their seat! When they get a book, they start reading! This activity gets students to check out book they might not have thought about picking up.


5. Reading Private Eye

Students improve their reading comprehension with a scavenger hunt! They sign on for a reading mission. Their goal is to find the key details of a piece of literature. Click here for the printable!

bounce and retell activity


6. Bounce and Retell

Story telling ropes and roads / streets are super popular. Put a twist on the activity by adding a little bounce and getting the kids outdoors. Help students with reading comprehension by creating a winding path for them to bounce on as they retell a story. Draw different shapes and write key details inside of them (title, characters, narrator, setting, fact vs. fiction, main event, and chronological order – first, next, last). Kids plop on a jumping ball with handles, answering the key detail block they land on.



7. Reading Comprehension Dice

Reading Comprehension plays a significant role in the common core curriculum. I made a die for kids to have fun pointing out key details from a piece of literature. After reading a story, kids get in a group, roll the die, and answer it. This activity will help them look for key details and familiarize them with important components in a story. Click here for the printable!



8. Reading Passport

Genius idea from Classroom Magic and free printable! Students created a “Genre Passport.” They received a stamp for each type of genre read. This is a fantastic idea to get students inspired to read a variety of books! Visit Classroom Magic for a free printable (passport book and stamps) and the full activity. Note: You could also buy stickers to represent each genre.



9. Reading Marathon

A reading marathon begins with kids choosing a book. Then, you set a timer. Students read for a bit, then stop and complete a task. The tasks they do will help them remember key details from the text. When they have finished all the tasks, they make a timeline. Incorporate some technology into the activity with Popplet! Kids can create a mind map to organize their thoughts. Click here for a printable!