Do your students love playing games? A well-planned game can be an effective way for kids to review or master information and skills. Creating your own games means you get to decide exactly what goes into the games. Use these tips when creating your own learning games for the classroom.
Decide on a Purpose
Why are you creating the game? Are you introducing a new topic? Building mastery of something the kids already learned? Reviewing information from past units? Having a clear focus for your learning games helps you create them specifically enough to make them effective.
You also need to know exactly what information you want to include in the game. For example, if you’re creating a vocabulary practice game, do you want the kids to mainly focus on recognizing the words or understanding the meaning? For a history game, do they need to know specific dates or general facts about a historical event?
Choose a Format
Now that you know what you want the game to teach, you need to decide how to set up the game. You have several options that work well in the classroom setting.
File folder games are simple to create. You probably already have some file folders in the classroom that you can use. These games work well for sorting — each side of the folder is a category and kids place pictures or words on the correct side. You can also create simple board games using a file folder.
Card games are another easy game to create for classroom use. Index cards make inexpensive cards for the games. You can create your own memory-style matching games with the cards. For vocabulary practice, you could write the definition on one card and the word on another. The kids would make matches by pairing up the words with their definitions.
Test It Out
Not every game you create will be a hit. Test out the game with the students. Consider how easy it is for the kids to learn to the play the game. Monitor play to see if they are actually learning from the game. Make adjustments as necessary on the game or for future games that you design for your classroom.