Effective Teaching, Teachers

Great Games for Your Classroom

Games for Your Classroom

The games/activities below can be used with any grade, any vocabulary list, in any subject.


This is a great game to reinforce vocabulary. Line 3-4 pictures up in a row on your smartboard (or just print pictures and stick to the wall). Bring up two students at a time. The teacher says a word and the students try to be the first to slap the picture that represents the word. You could alter this by writing words on the board instead of using pictures. The teacher could say the definition or a synonym and students need to slap the word. Use it to teach CVC and sight words too!

Board race

Divide students into teams. I try to keep the teams to about 4 or 5 students so that everyone gets plenty of turns. Have one student from each team come to the board. Say a letter, word etc. and have students write or draw a picture of that word. Give teams points if they get it correct. The player who was just at the board returns to their seat and a new student from each team comes forward.


Create your own bingo cards for any word list! I’ve played Halloween bingo, weather bingo, school supply bingo. Version 1: the teacher shows a picture on the screen, says the word and students mark their cards if they have the same picture. Version 2: the teachers only says a word and players must correctly identify the picture on their card that matches the word. This is obviously, a version to be used once students have been studying the vocabulary for awhile.

DLTK bingo lets you quickly create bingo cards from their starter sets.

Around the World

The first two students stand up. Teacher shows a picture and the first student to say its name wins. The student who lost sits down in their chair. The student who won moves to the next student in the room (next chair, next table). Continue moving around the room.



Split the room into teams.  Have one student from each team come to the board. Ask them a question or show them a picture. Students should write the word, definition etc. on the board and cover their answer. When you say time is up, all students reveal their answers. If the student gets the question right, they get a point for their team and they get the chance to throw the ball. If they make the basket, they get a second point for their team. If the student did not get the question right they do not get to throw the ball but instead return to their seats. Next, call up another set of students (one from each team) for the next question.



This game doesn’t require any prep and could be done when you find yourself with a little extra time before lunch or during rainy day recess. I often play this with the whole group with teams, but it could be played with a small group. Teams will take turns being the actor. Either give the team a word card, or just whisper the word in their ear. The team or the student will go to the front and act out the word. They can’t talk. The audience will guess what word they are.

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