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Four Simple Educational Games for Elementary Students

written by: Keren Perles • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 1/6/2012

Searching for ways to liven up your classroom? Read on for some exciting games to play in class that will help to reinforce material that your students have learned.

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    Twenty Questions

    This game is great for a teacher of any subject to teach to the class. Just think of a term that has to do with what you’ve been teaching, and write it on small piece of paper. Encourage your students to ask you yes or no questions to figure out a vocabulary word you’re thinking of. For example, in a biology class, you might be thinking of the word nucleus. In history class, you might be thinking of the term democracy. After several rounds of this game, you might want to give a student a chance to think of a term and answer questions about it.

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    Looking for a fun way to review vocabulary? Try a modified version of the Pictionary games to play in class. Make a stack of cards with important vocabulary words on them, and have one student choose a card and draw the word she chooses on the board. The rest of the class should try to guess the mystery word. The student who guesses correctly draws the picture clue for the next word.

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    Spelling Game

    Need a fun game to play in class to review for a spelling test? Trying playing this variation on the classic game “Ghost." Have students stand in a line. Say a spelling word, and have the students spell the word in order by having each student add a letter to the word. For example, if the word were “review," the first student would say “R," the second student would say “E," etc. The student to say the last letter of the word has to sit down, but the student who says an incorrect letter also has to sit down. The last student standing wins the spelling game!

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    Smallest to Biggest

    The best games to play in class are those that get the kids moving around. For certain math topics, you can try the “Smallest to Biggest" game. Give each student a card with a value on it, and have the students organize themselves into the correct order. This works well with fractions, place values, and similar lessons. You can also use this game in history class to have students put historical events in the correct order (although this would probably work better in small groups).

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