Before we dive into the how, let's talk about why you should gamify your lessons...
When students are playing games in your classroom they are not only having fun but they are also learning.
When students are having fun during the lesson they are more likely to stay focused and participate.
When students are enjoying themselves during your lessons they are going to look forward to attending your class. They'll show up to class with a positive attitude and excitement to learn.
Seriously, the positives are endless! Including games in your online lessons are going to make them more enjoyable for everyone. Now that you know why it's important to gamify your lessons the only question that remains is how? What games are simple and easy to include in the online classroom...Read below to learn the 3 games you can include in your classes and how you can relate them back to your lesson topics!
3 Games for the Online Classroom
Play Bingo in the Online Classroom
It's not enough to just include games in the classroom, we also want them to be education-based and relate back to the content we are teaching. So, let's talk about bingo games in the online classroom and how to use them. They are simple to create and are definitely a hit with a variety of students.
Ways to Incorporate Bingo Boards in Your Lessons:
1. Bingo is an easy and fun way to practicing new vocabulary. The picture above is a bingo board I created when my Spanish students were learning vocabulary associated with the toy store. I used Wordwall to create a random image generator in the form of a spinny wheel. My students watched the wheel spin and land on an image that could be found on the bingo board. I would ask them to identify the object in the target language and could easily increase student output by asking them to create a sentence about the object or describe it.
2. A game of bingo can also be used to practice letter sounds. Embed images of the different letters on the board and read out words that start with each letter. Students must then identify which letter the word starts with and mark it off on the bingo sheet.
3. Students can also use a game of bingo to practice new vocabulary and definitions. Write out the vocabulary words in each square of the board and the definitions of the words on slips of paper or add them to an online random generator tool like Wordwall. Read out the different definitions and have students choose the correct word on the board.
4. Bingo boards can be used for a variety of other topics too such as math, sight words, phonics and much more! If you have other ideas, share them by commenting in the section below this article.
How to Create a Bingo Board
I create blank bingo board templates using Canva. By creating a blank bingo board template I can save time and quickly insert new images when designing my lessons or have students draw in each square. If you are looking to save even more time check out my pre- made blank bingo board template on TPT!
2. Incorporate Board Games in the Online Classroom
Creating board games for your classroom is another fun and easy way to engage your students. You can have your students create their own board or design one for them. You can roll a die to move along the board or create digital or physical cards.
Want to learn how to create your own board game template on Canva? Click here
to watch my youtube tutorial!
Ways to Incorporate Board Games in Your Lessons:
1. A board game can be used to practice grammar concepts like subject, verb agreement. Center the game around a verb you've been practicing in class. Place different subjects in each of the boxes. When students land on a particular box they can create a sentence using the subject they land on and the verb.
2. You can also use a board game to practice new vocabulary words. Place images of vocabulary words in the squares of the board game and have students identify the vocabulary word or create a sentence using the vocabulary word they land on.
Learn how to create your own board game template by watching my youtube tutorial!
Save even more time by using my printable and customizable board game templates available for purchase in my TPT store.
3. Create Mazes for your Students to Complete!
Who doesn't love a good maze? While mazes are not inherently a language-producing activity they can easily become one. Read below to find out how!
Ways to Incorporate Mazes in Your Lessons
1. The maze pictured above is an activity that I created for one of my classes. In this unit of the course, students were learning vocabulary words associated with different places they can visit in a neighborhood and were practicing the sentence frame "I go to...". The objective of this maze was for them to draw a line from the person to the places they wished to visit. Once completed I had each student tell me where they went. This was a great activity because each student had a unique response and it allowed them to practice the new vocabulary words in addition to the sentence frame. You can create a similar activity to practice rooms in a home, areas of a school or virtually any other physical place students may visit.
2. When designing a maze for your online students make sure that it is centered around the subject or theme of your lesson. Have your students complete the maze and follow up the activity with a few discussion questions. Ask your students what images or things they encountered along the way. Ask them what they saw, how many of those items they saw, or extend and have them describe the images using adjectives they've learned during the unit or in the past.
3. You can embed mazes directly in your online presentation using an online tool like Nearpod. This would allow your students to complete the maze on their computer screen. Another option to facilitate a maze activity is to send students a PDF to print so they can complete it with a pen or pencil. Either way, your students are going to love this activity and you are going to love how fun and easy it makes it to practice new language skills!
I am a firm believer that learning should be fun because when we are having fun in the online classroom it creates a natural curiosity to learn more, practice the new concepts outside of class and come into each lesson with a desire to participate and engage with the new content. Incorporating mazes, board games, and bingo into your lessons is a sure way to succeed at this goal! Let me know in the comment section below if you have any other games you enjoy playing with your students in the online classroom and which of the games listed above you are going to try out next. If you found this article helpful share it with a friend and tag me on Instagram (@Teaching_Nomad24) to let me know what you learned and found most helpful!
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