I like to have a little toolbox of ideas for games and little activities that can be incorporated into lessons to wake the sleepyheads up. Here are some of my favourites that have been tried and tested.
1. Snowball: students write 3 key words from a topic onto a piece of paper, then scrunch it up, and (on the teacher’s say-so) chuck across the classroom! They then pick up a snowball, un-scrunch, and the game continues until they’ve run out of ideas. One student is then selected to read out their snowball.
2. Who Am I? Ask one brave student to come up to the front. Write the name of a key person or concept on a sticky note and stick it to the student’s forehead. The volunteer then asks the class questions about who or what they are, and the class can only answer with ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The student who guesses using the least amount of questions wins!
3. The Rule in the Room. One student is asked to leave the classroom, while the rest of the class comes up with a rule that they all will adhere to when they return. The student must guess what that rule is, e.g. ‘touch something blue at all times’. This one’s just for a bit of fun!
4. Smurf! Again, a bit of fun, I play it at the start of lessons on verbs. One student leaves the room while the class decides on a verb or verbal phrase which will be kept a secret and only referred to as ‘smurfing’. Whne the student returns, he or she asked questions to find out what smurfing is. E.g. smurfing might be ‘changing a lightbulb’. They may ask questions such as ‘Do I smurf on a daily basis? Do both men and women smurf? Etc. Hilarity ensues!