As we all are well-aware of the fact that 21st Century teaching methods are trending more towards student-focused classrooms. Subsequently, there’s a major increase in the demand of versatile ways of teaching & learning. For optimum learning outcomes, I prefer teaching through games and activities. I have compiled a set of interesting Classroom Games which could be helpful and equally interesting for teachers and learners. I hope you’ll find it worth giving a try in your classrooms.
Game #1 Ask Me
I use this game in my classroom when I teach my students interrogative sentence structure. This classroom game is great as it allows students to practice forming questions as well as revising their target vocabulary.
I let a student think of a secret word (it can even be a name of anything) while the other students take it in turns to ask questions to guess what they’re thinking. They can ask about 20 questions to guess the word. Students practice their thinking and speaking skills along with the correct use of question words and structure of the sentence.
Game #2 I Spy
We play this game when I teach adjectives or describing words to the students. It can be played outdoor in the play area as well. I gather all the students together and then call out ‘I spy with my little eye, something which is … (describing something)’. The children run to touch something in the classroom that matches the correct description.
This is great as it gets the active children moving and it can be hilarious when they find the correct thing on themselves or on another student. I try to catch those students who haven’t touched the correct object. Then that student comes in front, describes a new item using the same chant and the rest of the class repeats the drill. This game helps the students to learn new adjectives.
At times I use this game at the beginning of a new class when students don’t know each other’s names. I call out the specific characteristic of a student and all the other students start looking at each other. Like if I say, “ I spy with my little eye, a girl with curly brown hair, pink sneakers and a yellow pencil in her hand.” They guess the student and the student stands up and introduces herself.
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I have found this game to be popular with younger students as a way of teaching them the names of different objects or colors but it is equally successful for any grade level.
Game #3 Loop Cards
I use this game in order to make the students practice their spelling/ vocabulary words. I write words or descriptions on cards, for example, “I have an apple, Who has banana?” Then the next card would say “I have a banana, Who has grapes?”
This continues until the point comes when the cards start repeating themselves. In this example, that would be “apple”.
This way you can start with any card in the pile and the game will go on as usual. This is a fun Classroom Game; we may shuffle the cards and play the game over and over again.
Game # 4 Adjective Game
It is a simple describing game to help students practice adjectives. I draw or display a picture of a cat on the smartboard. Above the picture, write ‘Fluffy the Cat’. Then, write on the board: Fluffy the cat is an awesome cat. Next, write the letters of the alphabet down the board. Tell the students that they are going to take it in turns to think of other adjectives to describe Fluffy using the letters on the board. Students then come up with new sentences to describe Fluffy e.g. ‘Fluffy the cat is a smelly cat’. ‘Fluffy the cat is a crazy cat’, etc.
You may play this game in groups too. For each correct sentence, the team scores a point. Add the adjective on the board as the student says a new adjective. The game continues until all the possible adjectives are being covered. The group with the most points wins the game.
Game #5 Bingo
We play this game when I introduce new vocabulary or spelling words to the students. The best part of this game is that children find it very thrilling. To play this Classroom Game I give out a Bingo grid sheet with pictures or words of the desired vocabulary to groups of four or six students.
Each group marks off the word that I call out. The first group to get a row or a column complete with the called-out words yells “BINGO” and becomes the winner of the game. I pass the winning sheet to another group to check and make sure they have matched the words correctly! This can be made challenging by giving clues for the correct picture rather than calling out the word itself.
Game #6 Don’t Blink!
This is one of my favorite Classroom Games. It’s basically a warmup activity. We play this game before learning different types of sentences. The students must tell 3 facts about their life. Something that happened to them. Two of them should be true, and one should be a lie. The other students must find out which one is the lie. Tell the students not to blink while telling a lie. It gets funny when they make funny sentences about them.
Also, children get so excited when they catch a false statement. It’s a great ice-breaker for shy students especially. During this game children totally forget that they are practicing skills. It encourages the students to think and speak, helps in the construction of sentences, increases their creativity, and boosts their confidence.
Game #7 Dumb Charades
This game is very popular among children of all ages. We can use this game to teach vocabulary – animals, sports, hobbies, emotions – so it is endlessly useful! To play this Classroom Game, divide your class into two main groups. Then, cut out words or pictures for the students and put them in an envelope.
Call out one volunteer from the first group and secretly show the word. Students are supposed to act out the word silently, while the other students will guess and respond with what they think the secret word could be. The mimes turn out to be super hilarious!
You need to have a well-controlled classroom environment to play this game. So, remind the students about the game rules before you start.
Game # 8 Memory Game
This Classroom game promises a high engagement level. You can use this game to teach almost everything to let’s say synonyms or antonyms, science terms or definitions, mathematical sums, vocabulary, etc. This game is best when played in groups of 4 students. Each group is given 2 decks of cards, one has the words and the other deck has the answers. Each deck may have 5-7 cards. Students set the cards facing down in 2 rows. Students take turns picking one card from each row and see if both cards match. The cards will be kept aside if they match. If they do not match the cards will be placed back to the same spot. Students will take turns until all the cards get the matchings. This game does not only increase the focus and concentration span but also enhances the memory of the children.
Game #9 Pictionary
This Classroom Game is good for almost all grade levels. To play this game, you must prepare beforehand.
I use this game to teach vocabulary words to my students. I show some pictures related to the word on the smartboard and the students have to guess them. It requires a lot of classroom control because the children get super excited. It’s a great warm-up activity and works well for teaching vocabulary words. For young learners, you may add some hints to keep them interested.
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Game #10 Pass the Bucket
This fun Classroom Game involves songs and chants. Children have a lot of fun while playing this game. I use this for teaching Imperative/ command statements to the students. To play Pass the Bucket, you should have imperative sentences written on paper stripes. Put all the strips in a bucket and start from the first student of either corner of the class. The students start passing the bucket while chanting ‘pass the bucket… pass the bucket…’ until the teacher says ‘stop’. The student holding the bucket at that time takes out a strip, reads it aloud, and follows the command written on it.
The children get super excited over this and the actions can be funny! For beginners, I usually write something like jump 3 times, clap your hands, stomp your feet, etc.
There can be hundreds of different ideas depending on the grade level. For the Primary level, you can use this game for concept reinforcement for any subject. You may write questions like what are the three layers of the earth? How much is 7 x 5? What is the synonym of quick?
Game #11 Word Blaze
I play this game after finishing a story. Word Blaze helps the students to improve their motor skills and quick reading habits. I say a vocabulary word from the story that we have just completed and ask the students to open the book and find the word from the story. The students quickly go through the pages to find that word.
The one who finds the word first, loudly says ‘stop’ and puts his finger on the word. The student gets a reward for it. I keep on calling out words until we cover all the important words of the story. You should go back and forth over the pages to make it more challenging. The reason why I find it convenient is that it doesn’t require any resources other than the reading textbook. You may play this game anytime and enjoy a competitive class environment.
Make Learning Fun!
These classroom games will keep students engaged in fun activities and also make them learn something useful. We should create a fun learning environment for kids that helps them to apply their knowledge and show their creativity.