With the number of computer applications growing, typing has become an increasingly useful skill. Girls (and boys alike) can benefit from being able to touch type. However, because a skill is useful, it does not necessarily make it fun for students to learn. As such, a few typing games can enhance the classroom experience.
- Girls enjoy competitions. Have the class race to see who can type the fastest. Have the same text open at each computer typing station. See who typed the most. See who typed the most with the least number of errors. Given that most typing classes are taught using word processors, students should be making corrections. Penalize typos. And make the typing challenging–perhaps have them copy poems. Try unusual poems such as those by Dr. Seuss for more challenging spelling, which will require that they check the spelling themselves.
Play Dictation Games
- Have the girls type what they hear. Dictation can be done in many forms. You could simply read aloud to them. Or, to involve the girls more actively, you could play a version of court room dictation in which two girls play the role of witness and lawyer. As the teacher, you would be the judge. Give the two a brief run-down on their roles and let them improvise. While the lawyer questions and the witness answers, the class must take it all down. They can type each person’s dialog as a separate paragraph with an extra blank line between. Let the girls take turns role-playing various scenarios. Be imaginative and creative.
Blind Man’s Bluff
- Play a version of blind man’s bluff, only this is blind man’s typing. There are three basic ways this game can be played. In one version, lay a cloth, such as a table napkin, over the girl’s hands and keyboard. She must then type without being able to see her fingers. In another version, lay the cloth over the monitor so that she cannot see what is actually typed and must trust that her keystrokes are correct and even make corrections without seeing it happen on the screen. In both of the these versions, let the girls type from text beside them. In the third version, actually blindfold the girls and have them type from dictation.
Round Robin Typing Game
- This game requires that the computers are networked and that the girls can send to each other’s school email. Post the emails on the board in some order. This is the order in which the various round robin stories will pass. To start everyone off, put several starter sentences in a hat, with one sentence per slip of paper. Let each girl draw out a slip. This is the first sentence she’ll type as part of an email. Give the class five minutes to continue the story that sentence might start. Then, each girl is to send her email to whoever’s email is on the list after her own. The girl at the bottom of the list sends to the one on the top. Then give every student five minutes to read and add to the story they’ve received. As the stories pass, you may need to allow for longer periods as the reading time will grow. At the end, the girls will have created together some wild and usually funny stories.
Play Online Typing Games
- Go online and let the girls play some typing games. These games have various themes, but the play is generally one in which falling letters or words appear on the screen and the girls must type in what they see. Typing the word or letter may burst a balloon, earning them points, or it may scatter a ghost before it reaches the monitor to “claim the player’s life.” There are numerous games available. Most games increase the speed or difficulty as the play progresses.