Do you need something that will occupy your students in the last ten minutes of an exhausting day? Maybe you want to reward them for their productivity and behaviour? These seven games are great for having some fun at the end of the day. You can also link them to the curriculum.
It’s been a long and productive day, but you have noticed your students are getting tired and could use some fun activity. What can you do? Play a game! They probably like the games that they usually play, but why not bring a bit of variety to the table. Get to know these new games and their rules.
Choose two students to be the “contestants.” Place them in front of the blackboard so that they are facing the classroom. Reveal the secret word – write it on the board or a card that you keep so that everyone apart from the contestants sees the secret word.
Other students raise their hands to give a one-word clue that could help the contestants to guess the secret word. Contenders alternately try to guess the word until one of them gets it.
Both students then sit at their respective places, and two new students come in front of the blackboard to guess.
TIP: Choose words that match your students’ abilities. Choose a word for which they could know as many synonyms as possible. You can also write the synonyms on cards to be used by the students during the game.
Password example: dangerous
Possible clues: unsafe, serious, threatening, wild, risky
Multiple Passwords: Understand, Taste, Simple, Undercover, Ancient, Dumb, Laugh, Drink, Impatient, Hot, Movement, Destroy.
This game is suitable for spellchecking. Divide students into groups. One student chooses the word. The first person says the first letter in the word. The other person speaks the second letter, the third says the third, and so on. The student who says the last letter turns to the next person in the row and says “spark.” The person who “sparks” must sit in their place. If the student misses the letter, they also sit in their seat. Each time a student is marked as a spark, a new word is selected and the game continues.
Nothing catching your interest? You can find some more games here: Top 5 Games That Every TEFL Teacher Should Know
This is a game that is played in complete silence. The game can have any topic. For example, write the names of the capital cities on self-adhesive paper, and place them on each students’ T-shirt and instruct the students to line up in alphabetical order of the capitals quietly. You can make the game more challenging by asking the pupils to line up in alphabetical order of states of these capitals.
POSSIBILITIES: Students can create their own “tags.” They can write their birthdays and line up in order from January to December. They can also write their phone number and sort in numeric order.
Other categories: The possibilities are endless – presidents, hours, cities with the largest population, etc. can be used.
This game requires a little preparation, but it is worth doing! Choose five pictures. Calendar pictures are great for this activity. You can select images related to the subject. Cut the pictures into four to six parts and make sure that each student in the class gets one piece. Have the students “wandering” around the classroom trying to find their partners in the corresponding jigsaw puzzle.
ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE: Choose images from themed calendars. Imagine students trying to put together a picture of a popular music group, or their confusion while trying to place the pieces of a dalmatian jigsaw puzzle.
5. Who? What?
These fast, little riddles are fun. If you have five minutes and want to spend them in a cool way, write a few riddles on the board and let the students decipher them. Each riddle contains several well-known words. When they are carefully spoken, they associate themselves with a familiar person, thing, or phrase.
EXAMPLE: Ilo vey ou – I love you
Encourage the students to make their own riddles.
Of course there are so many more games you can play with students to reinforce their studies: 5 More Games That Every TEFL Teacher Should Know
6. Dictionary Deception
The teacher chooses a word for which no student knows the meaning of. The teacher writes the word on the board, then writes the definition on a piece of paper and puts it in a box. The teacher then gives pieces of paper to every student and they need to write their name and what they think the definition of the word might be and then put the paper in the box.
The teacher collects all the definitions from the box and reads it one at a time. The students consider the definitions. When the teacher rereads them, the students vote for what they think is right. Students get a point if they write the definition correctly and also earn points each time another student chooses their (wrong) definition as right. The person with the most points wins.
7. Chain Reaction
This game can easily be applied to any area of the curriculum. The teacher writes the category on the blackboard – food, for example. Students write letters A to Z on a sheet of paper. They have five minutes to list as many types of food in alphabetical order. Then the game starts. The first student says the first one. The next must tell the name of the food or the dish beginning with the letter in which the first one ended. The third student mentions the food that starts with the last letter of the previous one, etc.
POSSIBLE CATEGORIES: cities, songs, plants, animals, names, etc.
Remember how it was when you sat at a school desk for five or six hours? Now when we see students are bored, we think they have no interest and prefer to sit in front of a computer. We seriously forget that children are children, and they want to play. Why would not you give them that pleasure and teach them something along the way?
About the Author
Milica Madić, freelance blog/article writer from Serbia, with experience in teaching and working with young learners.