Genre Piranha | Literary Genre Review Game

Genre Piranha: Literary Genre Review Game

Play Genre Piranha for Free Now!

Genre Piranha is an educational video game developed for reading teachers and students. It offers rewarding gameplay and an authentic educational experience. Students will love playing and teachers will love that they are learning. It is a win-win for everyone.

How It’s Played

The gameplay is simple. Students play as a small fish who is trying to make it to a lighthouse. There are only three buttons: left, right, and swim. With these buttons they must maneuver around sharks, angler fish, octopuses, and more. Along the way players eat worms, hide in the weeds from larger fish, and occasionally shoot out of a cannon or transform into a monster fish. It’s a lot of fun.

How They Learn Genre

Students will answer hundreds of literary genre questions.

Ereading Games encourage students to learn reading skills by rewarding them for their knowledge. When a player hits an enemy, rather than dying instantly, the player is given a question. If they answer the question right, they keep playing. If they answer the question wrong, they die. As they become more involved with each game, they become highly motivated to answer the questions correctly. The questions in Genre Piranha are all about literary genre.

There are literally hundreds of questions about genre in Genre Piranha. There are also 30 fun levels. Any students who can pass through this game can claim to be a master gamer who has mastered literary genre.

Play Now!

Viewpoint Pilot: Point of View Review Game

Understanding point of view is a basic reading skill. It is so fundamental that it is included in the sixth CCSS anchor standard. Anchor standards are covered to some degree at every grade level (K-12), so point of view is of universal concern to English, reading, writing, and language arts teachers.

I have made some awesome point of view resources over the years. I’ve posted over 20 point of view worksheets. I’ve created a bunch of online point of view practice tests. But this is the coolest point of view activity ever made! I am proud to present my latest online educational video game: Viewpoint Pilot.

Students will answer hundreds of point of view questions.

Viewpoint Pilot is a classic arcade-style shooter. Students blast their way across the Universe, collecting cool power-ups and battling over 20 types of enemies. When students get hit, they must correctly answer a question about point of view or suffer in-game penalties like losing power-ups or starting over. This style of play gives students immediate incentive to master this essential reading skill. In the early levels of the game, students read passages and determine whether each is narrated from first, second, or third-person perspective. In the later levels, students must distinguish between objective, limited, and omniscient modes of narration. That’s scaffolding at its finest, folks.

Students will love the high-paced, explosive action. Teachers and parents will love the rigorous and meaningful questioning. This is a game where everyone wins.

Viewpoint Pilot can be played for free on any Internet connected device. It is mobile-friendly, so it works on phones and tablets, but I prefer playing on a computer with a keyboard. Call me old-fashioned. In addition to playing in your web-browser, you can also download Viewpoint Pilot on the App Store for free. There is also an ad-free version available on the App Store for $2.99. All proceeds support Ereading Worksheets and my efforts to produce new educational content for students, teachers, and parents.

So, what are you waiting for? There’s finally a better way for students to master narrative perspective. Start using it today!

Links to Viewpoint Pilot
Play Viewpoint Pilot for Free on the Internet
Download Viewpoint Pilot for Free in the App Store
Buy Viewpoint Pilot without ads in the App Store for $2.99

Poetry Cat: Poetic Devices Review Game

If you liked my last figurative language game, Orpheus the Lyrical, you’re going to LOVE Poetry Cat. Poetry Cat is a brand new reading video game that you can play for free on tablets and desktop computers. Poetry Cat challenges and encourages students to master figurative language techniques and poetic devices. It features fun, compelling, and unique gameplay. Students play a cartoon cat collecting balls of yarn in 50 levels that get progressively harder. They are opposed by dogs, birds, spikes, and other level obstacles. When players get hit, they must answer a question about poetry correctly, or they will die. Trust me, they will get hit a lot. Since the gameplay is very addicting, students will want improve their familiarity with poetic devices so that they can advance in the game.

Students will answer hundreds of poetry questions.

While Orpheus the Lyrical is a great game, it only covered 4 figurative language techniques: simile, metaphor, personification, and hyperbole. Poetry Cat has a much greater educational scope. It covers 10 poetic devices: simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, understatement, alliteration, allusion, onomatopoeia, rhyme, and repetition. Poetry Cat has a total of 500 examples covering these poetic devices, so students will have to play for a long time before the questions start repeating. Students will be exposed to SO much poetry. The best part is that they won’t even realize it because the gameplay is so much fun. I truly believe that educational video games can help us reach some of our more distant students in ways that worksheets never will. Poetry Cat represents part of my greater effort to make a variety high-quality, free reading video games available to students and educators.

Poetry Cat can be played in any browser for free. It doesn’t work on phones, but it does work on most tablets, and it works on any computer with a modern web browser. It is also available as an application in the App Store. So, if you have iPads in your school, I highly recommend that you get someone to install Poetry Cat on them. It’s free, fun, and educational. Everybody wins. You can also support Ereading Worksheets buy purchasing the ad free version for $2.99. Bulk discounts are available to educational institutions through the App store.

I know that you and your students will love Poetry Cat. Help me spread the word by sharing the game with your friends and colleagues. Comment below or in the App Store to let me know what you think. Thanks for visiting!

Links to Poetry Cat
Play Poetry Cat for Free on the Internet
Download Poetry Cat for Free on iPads in the App Store
Buy Poetry Cat for your iPad without ads for only $2.99

Parts of Speech App

This is an image of my Parts of Speech App running on three different devices: a laptop, a phone, and a tablet.Look, I love teaching grammar, particularly the parts of speech. Understanding how they work is essential to understanding how language works, and language is miraculous. It’s an amazing feeling when your students begin to understand these abstract concepts. But, I HATE grading grammar activities. Students answer these questions so quickly, and it takes such a long time to grade them. Papers always pile up fast, but they get out of control when we are studying language arts. This app manages the unmanageable. It gives students the meaningful practice that they need and the instant feedback that they deserve. It allows teachers to redistribute their limited time in ways more effective ways. And, in the great tradition of this website, this application is free.


This app can be used by anyone with a 3rd through 12th grade reading level and Internet access. Each of the 2600+ questions was written at one of three reading levels. And, since it’s a web-app, you can open it in your browser window and begin using it without having to download software. It works on phones, tablets, and desktop computers. But don’t take my word for it. Try it out yourself.

Saves and Email Scores

This is an image of a SCORES page on my Parts of Speech App. It shows a bunch of test scores for this student.Students can create profiles to save their scores. None of their scores are stored on any server. Everything is saved right on the device that they are using. So there’s no need for unique user names, passwords, or complicated email registration systems. Students just enter their names and choose a photo if they’d like. Then they have a profile on that device, and when they return to that same device, all of their scores should still be saved to their profile. This allows them to progress through the app at their own pace.

Better still, students can send all of their scores to any email address at the touch of a button. A PDF file with their scores for all 28 activities should arrive at the recipient’s inbox in seconds. Teachers can then print out these scoresheets or apply this data to their classrooms and grade books in anyway that they choose.

High-Quality Content

This is an image of an Activity Title page on my Parts of Speech App. It shows a giant robot and some buttons where a student could pick his or her reading level.Each of the 28 activities in this app are themed around a high-interest topic. The 20 video lessons accessible through this app use actors for voice overs. I spent pretty much all of 2015 producing this app, but I’m just one person, and I’m far from perfect. I need your help to finish this app. If you find any grammatical errors or other problems, please report them to me, and I will fix them as soon as I can. Unless they are errors in the videos. I’m not going to record those again. We’ll just have to call any such errors “teachable moments.” Ha ha. Still, report any such moments if you’d be so kind. I’m excited to hear about your experiences using the app, if you do decide to use it. I hope that this app helps you achieve your goals.

Don’t Have a Access to Computers in Your Classroom?

I know what it’s like. I’ve been there. The disparities in the educational system are often described as gross, but I think sickening is a more fitting adjective. I didn’t forget about those without suitable technology. I put the questions on the old, faithful paper worksheets as well. If your school won’t let you make copies, you can do what I did and buy a laser printer. With an $80 laser printer, copies are like 2-3 cents each if you buy your ink from Amazon, but I digress. What I mean to tell you is that you can access the content from this application on printable files throughout the sections on parts of speech. And I want to encourage you to use this application in your classroom on the day that you get Internet connected devices. It provides a great experience for everyone.

Check Out My Parts of Speech App. You’re going to love it!

Orpheus the Lyrical | Now on iPads and iPhones

Students love playing games so much that they are willing to tolerate a little learning in order to play. How as teachers can we make the most of this? It is difficult because the state of educational games is depressing. So many “educational” games either don’t offer quality educational experiences or aren’t are fun to play.

Orpheus the Lyrical is an exception to this. It is a traditional platform game. Students will recognize the style of gameplay immediately. They need no instructions to play. The fun twist is that when the players get hit, rather than taking damage they are asked a figurative language question. If they answer the question correctly, they continue playing unscathed. If they answer incorrectly, they will lose their power-ups or perish. This provides students with a strong incentive to think about the questions. Over the course of the game, students will answer hundreds of figurative language questions. The best part is that they won’t even notice how much they are learning and reviewing.

Students will answer hundreds of figurative language questions.

While using this game in my classroom, I’ve seen students with no interest in learning master figurative language. Some unlikely duos have formed to access the later levels. And everybody who has played has learned something about figurative language. I’m pleased to say that this experience is now available through the App Store. There is a free version of this game available with advertisements and there is a version with no ads available for $2.99. Bulk discounts are available to learning institutions and all of the proceeds will benefit Ereading Worksheets.

If you don’t have access to Apple devices, you can still play the game on desktop or laptop computers for free. I’d also like to create an Android version of this game, but I’m a few steps away from making that a reality.

Readability Scores

You may have noticed that most of the reading passages on this website now contain readability scores. These scores should provide teachers and students with some guidance with selecting appropriately leveled texts.

Accessing the Scores

readability-screen-shotJust hover your cursor over the text that states “Suggested reading level for this text…” A pop up box should appear with a detailed breakdown of the text’s readability score. You may have some difficulty accessing this breakdown on mobile devices, although it seems to work well on iOS. I was not able to provide scores for the figurative language and author’s purpose resources as well as a few others as the scores for those assignments were misleading and did not accurately reflect that readability of the content, but these scores have been added to almost all other reading materials.

How the Scores are Derived

I have processed the texts through an opensource project called Text-Statistics. This project is hosted at this website.

Each text has been evaluated using the following algorithms.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
Gunning-Fog Score
Coleman-Liau Index
SMOG Index
Automated Readability Index

A grade level score is produced from each measure and these scores are averaged. I have suggested that each assignment is appropriately leveled for students two grades above and below this grade level average. There are some shortcomings to this method, however, and there is no replacement for adequate oversight and familiarity with your students. Nonetheless, I think this new addition will help teachers better match these resources with the needs of their students.

New and Improved Ereading Worksheets

If you’ve been coming to this site for a while, you may be familiar with my Ereading Worksheets. These are interactive online versions of my worksheets. Students complete these online and are instantly graded on their results. At the end, students can print out a score sheet indicating their success. These Ereading Worksheets were pretty popular last year, so I’ve spent some time redesigning and improving them. Here are the ways in which they’ve improved:


  • Ereading Worksheets are now iPad and iPhone compatible. My old Ereading Worksheets were built using Adobe Flash, which made them incompatible with iPads and iPhones, which do not run Flash. The new Ereading Worksheets were built using HTML5 and JavaScript, which makes them 100% compatible with modern internet browsers.
  • Results can now be printed, saved, or emailed. The old Ereading Worksheets could only be printed. The new Ereading Worksheets will allow students to print their results, save their results as a PDF file, or email their results directly to their teacher or caretaker. Because the results are sent directly through the server and as a PDF file, students will be unable to modify or change the results of their tests, which ensures that the data you receive is accurate.
  • Ereading Worksheets scale in size. The old Ereading Worksheets came in one size: 640 x 480 pixels. Because of this these worksheets would not display properly on certain displays. Now, Ereading Worksheets automatically scale in size while maintaining their proportion. Because of this scaling, Ereading Worksheets can be completed on a display as small as a phone’s or as large as a widescreen HDTV.
  • More data and testing metrics are available. The results page from an old Ereading Worksheet told teachers how many questions a student got right or wrong out of how many questions the student answered. The new Ereading Worksheets offer this same information as well as new, helpful data: the date that the test was taken, how much time was spent taking the test, and the time that the test taker finished. This new data may assist teachers in analyzing whether students are cheating or otherwise circumventing the assignment. Did a group of struggling readers submit a batch of perfect scores at or on a difficult Shakespearean figurative language assignment within a two minute testing window? They probably cheated.
  • Additional content is available. In addition to the old Ereading Worksheets having been converted to the new format, I have also created some new content and will create more. In the meantime I have created some reading comprehension tests in the new format. Check them out:
    Submarines | Nonfiction Reading Test 1 Ereading Worksheet
    Tigers | Nonfiction Reading Test 2 Ereading Worksheet
    Castles | Nonfiction Reading Test 3 Ereading Worksheet
    Gutenberg | Nonfiction Reading Comprehension Test 4 Ereading Worksheet
    And, if you’d prefer, I have paper versions of those same reading comprehension tests on this page.

    What’s Next for Ereading Worksheets?

    I’m still rolling out the updated versions of these new Ereading Worksheets and should be done by the end of September, but that won’t be the end of the updates. While I think this generation of Ereading Worksheets is a major improvement, the product does not quite meet my vision at this time. Here are some of the changes and improvements that I will institute over the following school year:

    • Adding open-ended responses. Many people have praised my worksheets not just for the content that I’ve created, but also for how I’ve left room for students to include their own reasoning on many of the worksheets. I’d like to carry this critical thinking element forward into the digital age by asking students to type how they have thought through their answers for each question on applicable exercises. Their thinking will then be added to the PDF results page and submitted to you as you would like.
    • Bundling all of the Ereading Worksheets as an application. As iPads and other tablets and technologies have a continued presence in classrooms across the nation and around the world, I’d like to continue supporting teachers and students by offering all of my Ereading Worksheets as a freely available application for Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry devices. In addition to creating more content and leveled content, this will be one of my top priorities this school year.

      I appreciate all of the early adopters who have helped me pioneer and develop these technologies, and I look forward to receiving more of your feedback, thoughts, corrections, and criticisms. Have a great school year!

      Looking For Something Else?
      Old Versions of Ereading Worksheets

Now Aligned to Common Core State Standards

Lesson Planning Just Got THAT Much Easier

Most of my visitors should be pleased as punch to notice that is now aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Not only will I be adding new content designed specifically to meet the CCSS over the next few months, but I’ve also aligned all of the activities that you know and love with these standards.

Where Can I Find These Standards?

At the bottom of each page, right before the comments, there should be a grey box that says right above it “Common Core State Standards Related to X.” X in this case is a variable that represents whatever the focus skill of the page is. Beneath this heading you will see the anchor standard that aligns to that skill as well as an invitation to expand to view all of the Common Core State Standards related to that skill. Clicking this link will cause the grey box to open up like an accordion, revealing all of the grade specific strands that apply to that skill.

How Can I Use This Addition?

This new feature should come in especially helpful with your lesson planning. While determining which activities will best assist your students, you no longer need to spend your time tunneling through the CCSS handbook to locate the relevant standards. Just come to this website and cut and paste them. Everything has been nicely organized for you.