Boring lessons remind me of childhood.
The days when your parents tried to force black eyed peas down your throat and you endured the pain of chewing, tasting, and swallowing the little, round peas. Since I didn't have a dog, I would imagine the peas were peanut butter cups. Peanut butter cups allowed me to pretend I was enjoying dinner. My parents probably thought I actually liked black eyed peas. Little did they know...
As I planned lessons, I always thought about black eyed peas. How could I hide the "black eyed-peas" from my students? How could I turn boring topics into games, simulations, FUN! Here a few of my favorite games:
1. Baseball Review
Players: Two Teams
Materials: review questions, a baseball field OR bases to create a field (you can play in your classroom too)
Defense: catcher, 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, short stop, left field, center field, right field
Offense: 1st base coach, 3rd base coach, at bat
Pitcher (Teacher): Throw out a question - if the player answers correctly, they have an "at bat." If a player answers incorrectly, they are "out." Rotate play until there are three outs.
2. Human Tic-Tac-Toe (Numbered Heads)
Players: Two Teams (X and O)
Materials: use tape to create a human sized Tic-Tac-Toe board on the floor; prepare review questions in advance; white boards for each student; dry erase markers for each student
1) The teacher asks a question.
2) Each team is required to write down their response.
3) The teacher randomly chooses a player from each team.
4) The players with the right response can choose a space on the floor (create a Human-Tic-Toe board with tape) .
5) The first team to create a Tic-Tac-Toe wins.
What happens if both players answer correctly. They play a Rock-Paper-Scissor war. The winner chooses a space first.
Players: Two students play against each other
Materials: a typed handout with random words/people/places on paper; two different colored markers for each pair
1) The students all take off the caps of their markers.
2) Both partners raise both hands in the air (as if on a roller coaster).
3) The teacher reads the question out loud.
4) The teacher says, "1, 2, 3, GO!"
5) The first person to correctly circle the answer earns a point.
WARNING: You will need to tell students that they will not earn a point if their paper is ripped or if anyone is shoved out of their chair. Yes, this will happen. They are so excited! :)
What games do you enjoy playing in the classroom? Have you read Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess? If not, you are missing out a plethora of ideas to HOOK your students and turn the black-eyed peas into adventures, games, and non-stop FUN!