Have you ever experienced a situation where your students look at you throughout an entire lesson as if they are watching paint dry? You ask a question and get no response?
Since you’re reading this, we guess the answer is yes. The reason behind this is not that they don’t like what they’re being taught or they’re bored. There are many factors that can lead to this kind of behavior among students.
How do you make your students snap out of it and finally pay attention to you? Your guess is probably as good as ours; educational games can be an avenue to get the class back under you control so that they can learn something for once.
Here we will highlight the educational games that your students can play in the classroom to increase productivity and learn something along the way.
1. What Is In A Name
This game can be played by students of different grades. However, the recommended grade is one to three as it helps them get into conversations.
How to play:
Arrange the students into pairs and have each talk to the other about their names. What it is and what it means (if they know the meaning). Give each student two minutes to highlight it and add anything to it that they feel people should know, like how to pronounce it or how they ended up getting that name. They can also add the meaning in other dialects, nicknames, or other details.
Remind your students to take note of what the other is saying. After the pairs are done talking about themselves, pair up a pair with another pair thus making a cluster of four and have one of each pair introduce the other to the second pair. Encourage the students to be detailed as much as they possibly can about their partner to whom they talked during the first introduction.
Each student should introduce the other. Now watch as students improve their social skills and get to know one another better.
2. Wave Stretching
This is a fun way to begin a lesson. Students can have fun as a group as they pay attention to each other and do what they are asked to do. Observe how they mimic each other, the look on their faces plus how they keep the ball rolling.
How to play:
Have your students form a circle whether in a large or a small group. Pick a student from the circle and have them do a stretch. Each student should be able to mimic it, then do their own, one after the other. They should keep the ball rolling until it comes to the starting point.
This game can go for as long as you want it to.
3. Balloon Pop
This is a fun way for students to learn cooperation. It can be played by an entire class or in clusters.
How to play:
Make the students form a circle while holding hands and introduce a balloon in the middle of the circle. The idea is to see the number of times they will be able to make the balloon stay afloat. They can use all parts of their bodies except for their feet.
For this to work effectively, students must work together making sure not to let go of each other’s hands. In no time, they will find out that they have to move together in the same direction as a unit so as not to lose connection.
Once the balloon touches the floor or somebody’s leg, they begin all over. The higher the grade, the more balloons you can introduce to make it even more interesting.
4. All Aboard
This game can be used to make students work together to tackle a certain problem. Students from grade four going upwards are best tailored for this.
How to play:
Make a loop using a large enough rope so that every student in the class can fit inside it and place it on the floor. Let your students sit inside.
Now make things interesting by reducing the size of the circle and encourage them to fit inside. Go on and make the circle smaller and see how your students react and how they come up with a solution to this dilemma.
You will be shocked with the solutions that they may conjure up, such as only putting one body part into the circle, such as hands, feet, or even fingers.
Allow them to give you feedback on what they learned or observed.
5. Human Knots
The game is designed to help students come together and solve a problem while having fun at the same time.
There are many iterations to this game so do not be afraid to switch things up.
It’s best suited for students between the seventh and eighth grade.
How to play:
Students are to form groups of six to eight people and arrange themselves in a circle. They should cross their arms near the wrists and grab the other person’s hand from both sides.
They must work together to undo the knot without letting go of each other’s hands. After they untangle themselves, challenge them to lean backward while maintaining the balance and try to sit down. They should then try to stand up as a single unit and you could spice things up by making them race.
6. The Line Game
Create two groups standing on the opposite sides. Students should work to get the group from one end of the court to the other.
This is to be achieved by walking along the marked lines on the floor and the lines must connect. There should be no jumping lines as this is not allowed. They can move backward, forward and side to side. In true fashion of basketball, once they pass the half court mark, they can no longer move backward but only forward and side to side.
To shake things up, the half court line can act as a safety line; every student on that line is safe. However, once they cross that line and their path is blocked, they are to move to the side and go back and start all over again. Whichever team manages to ferry all of its students to the opposite side first becomes the winner.
Students are to start at the same time and move as individuals but work as a group. They should be able to encourage each other as they are working towards the same thing.
7. Red Elbow
This game involves you, the teacher, as you get to call out a body part and a color. A student’s objective is to find an object of that color in the room and touch it with the body part mentioned by the teacher.
It’s a fun exercise to get the students active. An example is a yellow nose. Students must locate something yellow and touch it with their nose.
Students that are the slowest in executing the task should be eliminated from the game. The last student standing is the ultimate winner.
There are various educational games that you can play with students to get them interested in learning or make them work together as a unit to solve a problem such as All Aboard that puts them in a dilemma of fitting inside a knot, Balloon Pop, and Human Knots. The Line Game also helps in achieving this goal as well as Wave Stretching. A game such as What Is In A Name helps in improving their social skills and Red Elbow makes them active and competitive.
If you have any other great educational games to suggest, please leave them in the comments below. Also, if you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it with your friends and family. After all, sharing is caring!
Author: Kevin Nelson
Kevin Nelson started his career as a research analyst and has changed his sphere of activity to writing services and content marketing. Currently, Kevin works as a part-time writer at the BreezeWriting. Apart from writing, he spends a lot of time reading psychology and management literature searching for the keystones of motivation ideas. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin.