Teaching has been made so much easier thanks to the incredible emergence of technology, with platforms like Google Classroom providing plenty of tools and resources that can make creating a lesson plan far simpler than it has ever been before.
The internet has not only made teaching subjects and topics far easier, but it also grants immediate access to a whole range of fun and unique classroom games across a variety of subjects which can save you a tremendous amount of time since you won’t have to acquire all the resources and equipment, simply load up the game on the projector, and let the learning begin.
Here are 7 of the very best online classroom games that are educational, exciting, and engaging for the whole class.
1. Google Earth Geoguesser
Google Earth is an incredibly useful online tool when it comes to geography, and thanks to recent updates over the last few years, users are now able to zoom right into any part of the world to get an up close and personal view of any city, town, or country they want to look at.
This is an incredibly fun feature to use in a classroom, simply dive into an area without showing your screen, and then ask the class to describe what they see, such as whether the area is urban or rural, how densely populated it is, and any changes that could be made to make the specific location easier to navigate and safer.
Students will earn a single point if they can accurately describe the location, and if they can successfully determine the country or city that the zoomed-in image is looking at, they will gain two points.
2. Spin The Wheel
Part of the beauty of using a virtual spin wheel is that you really can use it for any topic, subject, or age group, and all you have to do is click “spin” for the wheel to work its magic.
While one common way teachers will use virtual wheels is by placing students’ names in the spaces and then asking a question to the person it lands on, you can also put topics into the spaces to encourage a conversation about what the class has learned.
For example, one way you can do this if you were teaching geography is by placing words like climate, rural, urban, and conservation, and when a group puts their hand out to describe what it means, they will earn a point.
There are limitless options for what you can put in the wheel, so feel free to get creative and play around with different terms and phrases to make the game as engaging as possible.
3. Picture Zoom
This is another fun virtual game that you can use to test students’ knowledge on virtually any topic, however, it tends to work the best on subjects that require you to memorize the physical appearance of an object such as art, physics, and biology for example.
You can play picture zoom either by simply copying and pasting your own images onto a word document and using the zoom tool, or you can use a presentation software that gives you the option to play a picture zoom game such as AhaSlides.
Once your zoomed-in images are ready, you can either split the class into small groups of between 4 to 6, or you can keep everyone separate if you want to inspire a little bit of competition.
The aim of the game is to guess what the object is while it is intently zoomed in, and you only get a minute to do so.
The teacher then zooms out, and anyone who gets the correct answer earns a point for them or their team.
This works especially well when zooming in on parts of the body for biology, or planets for physics.
Creating a wordcloud is another fun game that can be accessed using AhaSlides which is incredibly easy to set up, but such a great learning tool.
The way it works is each student connects to the wordcloud by typing in the custom code at the top of the page, you won’t even need to make an account to join the wordcloud, only the person hosting it will be required to do this.
Then, the teacher kicks the game off by stating a topic, this can be as vague or precise as you like, and it’s up to the students to then add their own words to the wordcloud that they think relates to the term, or describes it the best.
This works well for any subject because you can literally throw out any term to be at the center of the worldcloud, so if you were using it as part of a literature lesson for example, you could say the name of a character and the students would then surround it with words describing their behavior and personality traits, however, you could just as easily use a word like “gravity” and then see what words the students associated with it in physics.
5. Create A Math Monster
This game requires a virtual whiteboard which you can set up by using Excalidraw and you will also need a few dice handy for the game to work.
While many online games will be tailored towards more descriptive subjects, the good news is there are still plenty of games that you can use for math, including letting the students create their own unique math monster.
Split the class into small groups and give them 2 dice each.
Each number on the dice must correspond to a specific shape, and when each person throws down the dice, they must then add those shapes on the virtual whiteboard as part of their monster.
Each person in the group does this until they create a wacky and wonderful creature using their knowledge of the shapes they have been learning about in the lessons.
This game is recommended for lower grades where the students are only just beginning to memorize shapes and how to draw them without relying on a book.
6. First Letter, Last Letter
First letter, last letter is a great game for improving the vocabulary and spelling of students by encouraging them to think outside of the box to search for phrases, animals, objects, areas, and people that they can type on the page to stay in the game.
The teacher will begin the game by providing a topic for the students to base their answers around, this could be anything from animals and places, all the way to scientific compounds and planets.
They must also provide a letter which will be the first letter that a student must use at the beginning of their word.
The next student must then type in another word, this time using the last letter of the previous word as their first letter.
So if the last word was Tokyo for example, then the next word would need to begin with the letter O such as Ohio.
The game is very easy to set up and can be played on any writing platform such as Microsoft Word for example, and since it is designed to put people on the spot, it can make the game even more exciting by giving everyone involved just 20 seconds to think of an answer until only one person remains.
Pictionary may be a game that has been around for decades at this point, but it is a great way to encourage creativity among students, while also being incredibly fun and exciting for everyone involved.
The teacher begins the game by putting a few different names into a bowl.
These names should be related to the subject or the specific topic, however, they will need to be something that can be described through drawings.
One by one the students will take a random word out of the bowl, and will need to try and describe what it is through multiple different drawings, without actually drawing the object, person, or area itself.
This works especially well for English when the class has been following a specific book since it can be fun to try and draw features that would relate to a specific character, however, it is definitely one of the more challenging games.
Pictionary can be played on Microsoft Paint or any online platform that allows you to draw with a variety of colors and tools.
There are so many fun and exciting online classroom games readily available to teachers that it doesn’t matter which subject you want to test your students on, or which grade you are instructing, you can be sure there is a game that you can include as part of a lesson plan to keep everyone entertained and engaged while also learning something new.
Online classroom games can save you the stress and worry of having to prepare a fun and engaging activity beforehand, so it is always worth experimenting with a few to see which your students gravitate toward the most.
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