Lessons & Classroom Games for Teachers
Kids love games, and since it's hard for them to sit still, you need activities for them to get rid of some of that pent-up energy too. Here's a really big board game the kids will enjoy, and it's easy for them to create. Ideas for classroom activities that are easy on your wallet are also included. You'll wind up having as much fun as the kids do with some of these!
Give each kid two sheets of paper and ask him or her to draw a design or picture on each one and color it with crayons. Once they're all finished, gather the sheets up, and have the students move their desks to the sides of the classroom, clearing a big space in the middle. Starting just inside the classroom door, put the decorated sheets of paper down on the floor, taping the corners to the flooring. Make a big circle, or if you have enough decorated sheets of paper, make a winding path that crosses itself once or twice. This gives you a very large game board.
Divide the students into an uneven number of teams and have each team choose a human "marker." As you ask questions from their homework, each correct answer from a team moves their human marker one step around the board. The first team to get the most correct answers and move their marker to the finish line wins!
Take a photo of your class. Have your local copy shop enlarge the photo to 9 by 12 inches or 12 by 18 inches if possible. Glue the enlarged photo to a piece of lightweight cardboard. When the glue is dry, cut the cardboard-backed photo into as many jigsaw puzzle-shaped pieces as you have students. Put them into a shallow box and have the kids each draw one piece. Have each student come up to the front of the classroom and place his or her puzzle piece into the puzzle where it belongs. Stop frequently to show the students how the "holes" in the puzzle mean someone still needs to be included. Do a new photo puzzle when you add new students.
Draw a map of your school and the neighborhood around it on a very large sheet of paper, and then glue it to a sheet of cardboard. Place this map in the middle of your classroom floor. Have the kids figure out from which direction they walk or take the bus every morning, and have them sit at that side of the map. Then ask the kids to name one thing they see every morning on their way to school, or choose a street they cross (and point to it on the map), taking turns around the room.
Have the students move all but four of their desks to the sides of the classroom. Use the oversize board game sheets (see Step 1) to mark four "streets" in a big square on the floor, with a desk at each corner. Students will want to take turns sitting at the desks on the corners, because they get to extend their arms and be "stop signs" to halt the "traffic" until the students walking along the board game streets answer your questions. Lots of giggles in these traffic tie-ups!
That oversize game board can be used time and time again if you put the decorated sheets of paper into clear plastic sleeves or cover them with clear adhesive plastic. Let your students make up their own rules and activities for the big board game too.