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“Game” doesn’t have to be a bad word in classrooms. Well executed, purposeful games can be an active way for students to process information. Games can also help students retain and recall information because, if done thoughtfuly, they can engage several multiple intelligences.
Here are 8 games that you can use in virtually any subject area with elementary to high school students. Be sure to download our handout at the end of the post.
The Loooping Game
A series of placards with questions and answers are placed around the room and students move from placard to placard matching correct information. If done correctly, they end up where they started.
This puzzle challenges students to match mutliple pieces of information. Students can solve the puzzle in pairs or create their own as extra credit.
Think “Concentration.” Have students flip cards to match pieces of information. Vocabulary terms, images and terms, literary characters and their attributes, even symbols and their elements are great content for this game. Use index cards or get a little more high tech and create the game on a powerpoint slide.
Four Corner Fibber
This variation on the popular Four Corners game adds the element of students who are planted to fib and select an incorrect corner. Having 1/4-1/3 of the class fib eliminates much of the peer pressure elements and challenges both the fibbers and non-fibbers to think critically about the questions.
Play the popular board game with your class using terms like vocabulary words, historical figures, or geographic concepts. It’s challenging (in a good way) for students to get their classmates to say a word without using a taboo term.
You Are/I Am
Everyone’s likely played this “nametag on the back” game in which you circulate and ask questions to determine your identity. Try playing it with historical events like the Cuban Missile Crisis and then debrief as a class.
5 in 10
Put students into teams and give them 10 seconds to write down 5 things that fit into a category you give them such as state capitals or major Civil War battles.
Have students act out vocabulary words, concepts or people for a team or the entire class. Talk about muscle memory!
Download all 8 games with complete instructions and examples: Gaming for Class Success Handout