My students and I absolutely love games! Games are so engaging and are a very effective way to enhance learning. Here are three of my favorite whole class games that may be played for any subject or grade level. These games are perfect for practice and review.
- Pass the Plate – (Materials: paper plates, music) Put all students in small groups of 3-4 students. Give each team a paper plate. Give the teams a category like scary words, synonyms for happy, words that begin with B, insect words, geometry words, words that rhyme with cat, words with a double letter, words with the base word “run”. words with the root “sub”etc. One student will write the category in the center of the plate and circle it. The teacher plays music as the students pass the plate to each other as each student writes a word from the category on the plate. When the music stops all students will stop writing. As each team shares their answers, the teacher can write the words on the board. I give students points for all their answers and extra points if they get a word that no other group wrote down. Teams tally all of their points to find the winner. Primary students usually aren’t as competitive and don’t care as much about the points. They are just excited to pass the plate and write their ideas.
- Bonkers – (Materials: 2 foot piece of pool noodle or something similar, cards or name tags) The students each write a different problem or a question on a card which will hang around their necks or a name tag to stick to their shirts. Each problem must have a different answer and a specific short answer. Students all sit in a circle. One student stands in the center holding the pool noodle. The teacher will start by saying an answer to one of the students’ questions. The student in the center will go find the student with the matching problem and bonk them gently on the legs with the pool noodle. The student will try to say another answer before they get bonked. In that case the student in the center must go bonk a different student. If the student gets bonked before they say another answer, they will be in the center. The last student in the center will start them off by saying an answer. This is fun to play with math problems, questions about a reading text, states (problem) and capital cities (answer). Watch out this game gets really lively and the students love it!
- Vocabulary Circle – (Materials: vocabulary cards, timer) Students sit in a circle and count off one, two, one, two, etc. to make their teams. All the ones are a team and the twos are a team, thus the students should not be sitting next to a member of their own team. The teacher gives one student a container of vocabulary cards. The teacher sets a timer for 30 seconds and the student will pull vocabulary words from the container and try to get the rest of their team to say the word. Students may say or do anything except say a part of the word. If the team gets the correct word the student will keep the word card and pull another card. If players get stuck on a word, they may decide to put the card back and choose another card. When the timer goes off the student passes the container of vocabulary words to the next player on the other team. When all the cards in the container are gone, each team will count up their cards to see who wins.
Check out some of my free board games here.