One of the challenging parts of teaching can be reviewing new information with your students, and making different concepts stick with them. Luckily, with a small amount of preparation and some props, any teacher can transform their classroom into a television studio, their students into guests and themselves into a host.
While these games are most effective for language teachers – as they really stimulate student involvement – they can be used by teachers of any subject.
Without any further ado, here are two of our favourite game show classroom games:
- Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of Fortune excels at teaching students both new vocabulary and spelling, and also can be converted to also teach new mathematical formulas as well.
All the teacher needs to do in order to prepare for the game is to:
- Split the class into teams
- Create a spinning wheel with dollar amounts written in segments around it (or if you are lucky enough to have access to a tablet or projector in the classroom you can use an online wheel creator)
- A list of expressions or formulas ready to go.
Then, separate the class into teams, pick an expression or formula, and write it out onto the board in hangman style, with no letters immediately visible.
Decide a team to go first (I like a quick first to guess the answer game), then that team will spin the wheel, after the wheel has landed on a price that team must work together to guess a letter from the phrase, if they are correct they win their spun value multiplied by how many times that letter appears in the phrase.
After they guess it is on to the next team who then spin and take a guess again. When a team is confident to guess what the expression or formula is on their turn they may have a crack, though if they are wrong they will add no more money to their teams score, but if they get the expression correct they get to keep all their money acquired so far, and all the other teams get to keep half (the rules are changed from the original wheel of fortune to prevent bad feelings for the losing teams)!
Rinse and repeat throughout the lesson, and when the class is almost over the team with the most money wins! Your students will have spent the whole class practicing spelling, thinking and much more.
Jeopardy is a fantastic game to use when covering more complicated material and concepts, especially for History, Geography and political subjects.
To set the game up you just need to: again split the class into three teams, prepare a list of trivia questions and answers and finally PowerPoint or another presentation platform (we like www.playfactile.com)
Set up a “Jeopardy” board with questions arranged in columns by topic, with a higher points value listed for harder questions. The class should only see the categories and point values, while you have the question and answer list separate.
Our three teams take turns choosing squares on the board and decide amongst themselves how they would like to answer each question. If the team is correct they get that points value for themselves then the next team gets to try and answer a new question if the last team got it right, otherwise they must try and answer the previous question.
When all the squares have been answered, the team with the most points wins.
I would suggest ignoring “Jeopardy’s” famous “what is” question and answer structure – keep things simple with basic questions and answers.
I hope you have enjoyed these two Game Show suggestions, and perhaps you get to imagine yourself as Alex Trebek or someone else in your classroom!