Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Teaching with Games!


Are you struggling to get students to:

  • pay attention
  • participate in the lessons you teach
  • engage in cooperative groups
  • attend to tasks that focus on practice
  • be responsible for their own learning

If your answer is yes to one or more I suggest you add games to your instruction. ESL games in the classroom encourage students to practice, repeat and review new skills. Read more about games in the classroom here!

Why should we include games as part of our instruction?

When we include games in our instruction we tap into the essence of high-quality instruction. Games motivate and engage student learning in so many ways.

  • Lowers student’s affective filters
  • Creates common classroom experiences
  • Develops an environment where it is fun to teach and learn
  • Provides a safe place to wrestle with new knowledge
  • Retention of knowledge through student interaction 
  • Expands subject or topic understanding by hearing different perspectives about the same knowledge
  • Constructs social skills

Notes on classroom management:

Game playing needs to be highly structured. Start with your learning target or objective. Choose a game that tightly corresponds to your objective/target. Make sure the game is reinforcing your lesson.

  • Before the gameplay begins cover all your expectations.
  • What starts and ends a game?
  • What will the player do?
  • What do the other students do during play?
  • How will you deal with common undesired behavior?
  • Will you use a timer or timekeeper to create a fun sense of urgency?
  • Finally, what is the consequence of misbehavior?
Pack of fun!

Check out our gameboards here!


Games need to be active and engage all players. 

Stick to procedures and routines for game playing.  When students know the game procedures and routines more time playing is more time learning.  Don’t hesitate to put your own twist on familiar games. 

Use fun ditties to remind students of the rules!  For example when handing out game pieces recite:  You get what you get and don’t you don’t throw a fit!  And when presenting dice:  If you throw the dice off the table you lose your turn, roll it gently! 

Have fun!


Past Tense Verb Games add fun to your lessons.

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