May 13, 2015

Page Turners: Using Games to Promote Learning {5/13}

Greetings and welcome to Page Turners, a weekly Wednesday linky, where I feature great blog posts I have read (and sometimes that I have written). Hopefully you will find ideas that inspire you in your classroom and your teaching and maybe even a new blog to follow. Read down to the end of the post for directions if you are interested in linking up a post of your own.

And now on to this week's topic: using games to promote learning. As teachers, we are always looking for ways to make learning fun for our students. Using games, whether it is to review terms or simulate a concept, is a great way to keep students engaged.

The Curly Classroom offers this twist on Bingo to review author's purpose. Using a PowerPoint of text excerpts and a Bingo board of verbs (both which can be downloaded for free from the post), students decide which verb best fits each text. On their bingo board they must add the title of each text to the verb and to use the verb to explain the author's purpose. I'll be using this on Thursday as part of a review for our upcoming state exams.

Next up, Michelle Luck of A Lesson Plan for Teachers shares her human board game. Think Alice in Through the Looking Glass. The tiles of your classroom floor become the game board. Add arrows to show the direction of movement and spaces like "roll again" and "move back two spaces" to mix it up. Have students roll a dice and if they answer the review question, they can advance. Monday is our last day of review. Maybe I can pull this together by then?!

Mind/Shift offers three games about viruses that teach interconnectedness: one board game, one app, and one that is both! How does this relate to your content? Science or health teachers this is a perfect connection to teaching about germs and health precautions. Math teachers you can definitely work some numbers into these games. Social studies teachers, are you covering the Bubonic Plague, AIDS, Ebola? ELA teachers are you reading Poe's Masque of the Red Death or Laurie Halse Anderson's Fever 1793?  The post offers ideas on assessing learning and connecting to real world events.

Mind/Shift offers three more educational games. Think Oregon Trail. The first, Elegy for a Dead World is a writing video game?! Students trek through worlds inspired by the Romantic poets Byron, Keats, and Shelley. They offer a free press copy to all you bloggers out there. They sent me one that I just haven't gotten around to trying yet. The second, Never Alone, introduces students to Native American culture, specifically the Inupiat people (native Alaskans). The third, Valiant Hearts, focuses on WWI. These games make me wonder what else is out there.

And the last post is a short one on using Pictionary and other games to review vocabulary. Seriously simple, but students love it. Could be used to review vocabulary or terms for any subject area at any level.

Be sure to check out the posts linked up below and come back next week for some great posts about end of the year projects & activities.

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