Using Playful Strategies to Create a Fun and Meaningful Literacy Program in Middle School


This unit uses playful strategies to motivate and increase the engagement of middle school students in literacy activities. Through creative strategies, I play up the fun factor to promote student interaction with the text. Middle school students, especially 6th graders, love to play in class. Many of them, if given the opportunity, will gladly pretend to be someone else, dance, put on a performance, play games, or engage in anything “fun” rather than the traditional sitting in a seat answering questions about a story. Encouraging students to play, like they did when they were small children, will result in students who are more engaged in the lessons we create. Although playing in middle school looks very different than in kindergarten, the creative and interactive strategies that many middle school students respond to are still play. If we use the students’ natural tendency to socialize, talk, and generally be adolescents, we can guide them into appropriate and challenging interactions with literature that seem like play to them. Before they know it, they will be looking forward to language arts class and reading the next chapter of that class novel with excitement and engagement. Not to mention increasing their reading ability and achievement.

Janice Bernier, English/German, Jay M. Robinson Middle School



Mry is cute.