While many schools emphasize traditional teaching methods in the classroom, such as reading books or writing assignments, games offer a different kind of learning experience for students. Having students play games as part of the learning process provides them with a number of educational benefits. From elementary school through high school, teachers can use several types of games to enhance their lessons.
Benefits of Using Games
Using games in the classroom offers the following advantages:
- Student engagement. Classroom games encourage students to become more involved in the learning process and interact with other students. This type of engagement can help students understand new concepts or improve existing knowledge. When students are engaged in the learning process, they are more likely to retain the information they are learning.
- Interest in learning. Holding the interest of students through traditional teaching methods is not always enough. For some students, being able to actively participate in classroom games can promote a deeper appreciation for the material they are learning and a stronger interest in the learning process.
- Skill development. Games in the classroom do more than just provide students with educational experience. They can also help students work on several important skills, including social skills and critical thinking skills. Games provide students with the opportunity to learn about teamwork and practice resolving conflicts or disagreements with other students. They can help students learn how to examine information critically as well.
Sample Educational Games
Classroom games range from classic favorites to newer creations. Many of these can be adapted to accommodate learning at different levels of education from elementary school to high school. The following are a few examples of classroom games for different age groups:
- Elementary school: Students in elementary school can play simple yet effective classroom games to improve basic learning skills. Games such as Hangman help students in this age group work on vocabulary and spelling skills, while games such as Higher/Lower help them improve their math skills. Hangman involves figuring out the missing letters to spell a word correctly, while Higher/Lower has students using math skills to determine the probability of a number being higher or lower than the next.
- Middle school: Middle school students can benefit from playing classroom games that enhance more advanced learning skills. Games such as Around the World test students’ knowledge of factual information, while games such as Spelling Bees give students the chance to test their spelling skills in a friendly competition. Around the World involves having students answer questions in order to advance in the game, while Spelling Bees are a straightforward yet fun way to have students compete while also learning.
- High school: High school students can learn a considerable amount from playing more involved games that test the skills they have acquired over the years. Games such as Chain Reaction allow students to use their knowledge in a variety of subject areas, including history and science. This game involves writing a category down and having students come up with an alphabetical list of items that belong to it. Other games, such as Bingo, can be adapted to use for different subjects as well, including math and vocabulary.
While there are a variety of established games available to use in the classroom, student teachers should also keep in mind that they can create their own learning games. They can also try variations of well-known games to keep students interested, engaged, and focused on the learning process.