Create a bunch of flashcards with questions about the unit your class is currently learning. Make a range of questions from very easy to very difficult. Assign each question a point value from one to four based on the difficulty. Write the point values on the back of the card. Randomly make a few questions "tornado" questions, and write the word "tornado" on the question side. Attach each of the flashcards to the board, point side showing. Split the class into two teams. Each team gets a turn to select a question from the board based on its point value. If they get the question correct, they get to draw lines equal to the number of points the question was worth. The goal is to draw a house. You can designate the number of lines required to make a house based on the length of the game you desire. If students pick the special Tornado cards, they may instead "blow down" their opponents' house by erasing a line.
On rainy days or other times that students have to remain in class rather than going out for recess, teachers need games that can be played inside with the whole class. These games should be active enough to allow children to expend any excess energy so that they will be calm and patient when instruction resumes. The games must also be controlled so that students do not become too rambunctious around classroom equipment.
Do As I Say
A variant of Simon Says, Do As I Say teaches students to listen to your verbal commands. Have students line up, and instruct them to "do as I say, not as I do." Then, make commands similar to Simon Says, such as "touch your nose." However, when you tell students to touch their nose, you should instead do something else like touching your ears. This game can also be adapted to a foreign language unit, teaching older students to listen to their vocabulary words rather than simply mimicking your actions.
Go around the room, and have each student assign a particular movement to each of that week's vocabulary words. For instance, a particular word may be associated with patting your head. Have the student say the word, and then do the action as he defines the word. Do only a few at a time so that students can remember the word definitions and the associated actions. Then, call on students and give them a vocabulary word. The student should then define the word as she does the previously associated action. This game will help reinforce the definition of vocabulary words by pairing them with an action. Encourage zany, off-the-wall actions to better reinforce the connections.
Sausage is a silly game to make your students laugh before resuming class time. Have students sit in a circle, and select a student to start. This student will stand in the center. Then, go around the room and have the other students ask the center student a question. The trick is that the answer to every question is "sausage." For example, "what is your shirt made out of?" "Sausage." The student who makes the center student laugh first replaces him in the middle, and the game continues.
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