Let’s face it, classroom games are a highlight to any school day, not just for the students but for the teacher too! They’re the perfect way to help extend a lesson plan, end the day on an educational note, help aide with memory retention, and can even be a great way to review for an upcoming test! But that’s not all, classroom games also ensure students are staying engaged and focused while also giving them an outlet for socialization.
Classroom games can be simple, inexpensive, and created for nearly any subject being taught. Not sure where to start? Let us help!
Bingo is a great minimal cost classroom game that can be redesigned to specifically reflect what students are learning about--History, phonics, vocabulary, spelling, math, and more! Forget regular-old bingo, slap together a game of math bingo, word association bingo, or even history bingo to help with memorization, lesson reviews, and quick-thinking skills.
Take math bingo, for example: the boards could have math problems on them, and the call numbers are the answers in which the students must solve mentally, in order to know if they have that number on their board.
It’s a weird name, I know, but this game is perfect for honing quick-thinking and motor skills.
For this game, the teacher splits their class into small groups or into two teams, and then they choose a student from each group to start. The nominated student from each group places a dictionary or a textbook, currently being used in the lesson plan, under their arm. The teacher will then announce a word, topic, or subject, and the chosen students will then draw the book from under their arms—like a sword—and race to find said subject or word. The first student to find the word/image is the winner. The game continues with different words/images until every student has had a turn.
Around the World
This game helps promote memory retention, quick-thinking, and friendly competition in the classroom. Students are asked to stand for this game. A chosen student in the first row will stand next to the student closest to them, and compete against that student specifically.
The teacher then shows a flashcard and the student who answers the fastest, with the correct answer, moves onto the next student and competes against them; the student who has lost, takes a seat until the next game. As the student, the idea behind this game is to try and beat each other student in the classroom.
Bonus game play: if there is a student that can make it all around the room they get to face off against [dun dun dun] the teacher!
Get Outta Here!
Nothing ends the day better than a little play. The teacher will stand in the doorway with lesson focused flashcards of questions, the student will then line up and the teacher will ask each student questions. In order for the student to be permitted to leave, they must answer 1-3 questions correctly—depending on the teacher’s preference. If the student does not answer the question correctly, they are sent to the back of the line to try again.
Bonus game play: For those who answer correctly, they get to leave a little bit earlier. Talk about bragging rights!
Who doesn’t like a game of trivia?
For this game, the classroom will be split into two groups of students. The teacher will then draw a circle on the whiteboard or chalkboard, section it off, and write a different category, subject or word in each section. A spinner is then placed in the middle.
Questions are determined by the section of the circle the spinner lands on, if the spinning team answers correctly that team gains a point; but if the spinning team answers incorrectly then the other team gets a chance to steal!
In the end, the winning team gets a prize! Maybe it’s just bragging rights, maybe it's a single bonus point on their next test, or maybe a little treat. Either way, this game encourages friendly competition, teaches students good sportsmanship, and helps aide in lesson plans.
Pass the Chicken!
You don’t have to play this with a chicken, you can play this game with any object that can easily and safely be passed from one student to another.
For this game, all students sit in a circle and the teacher will choose one student to be the “chicken holder”. The person chosen to hold the chicken is given a task by the teacher—something like “name all the provinces in Canada”, “list five numbers divisible by 3”—and then says “Pass the chicken!” As soon as the teacher says “Pass the chicken,” the student holding the chicken passes it to the right.
Students quickly pass the chicken around the circle while the Chicken Holder completes the given task. If the chicken (or whichever chosen object) returns to the Chicken Holder before s/he can complete the task, then s/he is still the Chicken Holder and must try again. If the Chick Holder succeeds, then the student who is currently holding the chicken is the new “chicken holder”.
Read My List
What do onions, gold, and boxing have in common? They all involve rings!
For this game, students can either play in groups or individually. To start off, students are to listen to a list of words the teacher reads out to them, they must then remember what they’ve heard, and think quick! Students will then win points for naming things missing from the list or for identifying the lists category.
Bonus game play: Students or groups with the most amount of points face off in the Lightning Round! Last student or student group standing is the winner!
See? Learning is definitely fun. Share your favourite classroom games you play with your student in the comments section below!