As teachers, we have all used games, be they online or not, to engage and motivate our teen, adult or young learners. We should not be still wondering if online interactive games are beneficial or not in the learning process, but rather how we can link our students’ classroom learning experiences with the games they play on their own or in pairs or groups.
The Thinking Train picture book series comes with a set of online games for each story. First, we will give you some tips on using online games, and then we will show you how our reader-based online games work.
Tips and tricks
Here are some things to consider when we plan to use games with young children. We have collected these based on our own experiences.
Choosing the right game
- Find age-appropriate content for young learners.
- Check the language level of the game.
- Find games that link into what the children are currently learning.
Setting up a gaming environment
- Give clear instructions and show the children how the games work.
- Set a time limit for the game(s).
- Let the children share their success in the game with you.
- Ask the children to show you how the game works and how they manage to complete the activities.
- When they play at home, contact the family with a set of instructions so that they can support the children.
- Encourage family members to play with the children.
The Thinking Train series games
The online games designed for The Thinking Train series cover the game selection aspects mentioned above. Each reader includes a set of interactive games based on the story and activating its vocabulary and language structures. The games help students revise and practise new language in the context of the story. The games can be paused in order to allow for optimal classroom management.
How can you access the games?
The scratch code to access the games is under the silver splash on the inside back cover of the books. Go to the Helbling Code web page then insert the 12-digit code, remember to include the hyphens:
This unlocks digital content (games and audios). Then select Play to access the games.
Here the children can choose if they would like to play on their own or in a team of 2, 3 or 4 students. If they choose the team version of the game, they will take turns to complete the activities.
Then they get to choose from 5 great games to play (or, if they choose the Challenge, they will play random games that the system selects).
What types of games are available?
Memory games, listening activities, vocabulary revision games, matching. All of them are interactive, give feedback and are easy to use.
What feedback do the children get?
When the answer is right, a happy sound is played and the counter will add a point to their score. When the answer is wrong, a sad sound is played and the children can try to give another answer. When the students play in teams, the fastest team to successfully complete the game or games is the winner. The games offer an opportunity for fun practice rather than testing the students’ knowledge.
What else is available on the online game web page?
You can listen to the stories online and access the audios for the listening activities.
You can also download extra projects for the story.