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Classroom games are not just a fun addition to your lesson plans, these days they are also an important part of the learning process. We already know that children learn through play so adding games into your lessons is a great way to enhance their school experience, with the added benefit that your students will hardly realise they are learning!
4 benefits of playing games in the classroom:
You may be wondering what exactly the benefits of bringing games into your classroom are. Listed above are 4 excellent reasons to include games in your lesson plans. Let's look at each of them a little more closely.
Most children have one thing in common, they love to play! Naturally we are all more motivated to do something that we think is fun and therefore it stands to reason that if we give our students something they are interested in to occupy their minds they will be more motivated to complete the task. In fact studies have shown that including games in the classroom increases children’s motivation over the course of the entire lesson and not only when they are playing the game.
This is a major benefit for those of you who are teaching English as a second language. Children develop language skills through exposure. Have your students play games in English, the games do not even need to be language based for them to develop language skills!
We have spoken about inclusivity in the classroom before and playing classroom games is one way you can help students with different learning requirements. Some students learn better for example if they are engaged in a physical or creative activity, games are a great way to help those students develop the knowledge that others pick up through reading a text.
You may have noticed that even young children in the classroom enjoy working in teams but getting them to cooperate is not always easy. Playing games during your lessons is a great way to help children develop communication and cooperation skills. Through play children learn to take turns, work together as a team, listen to each other, and build respect by playing fairly.
So now you know some of the many benefits of playing classroom games during your lessons, we know that you want some ideas for games you can play and we have a great one for you. It is called “Finish the sentence.” All you will need is some paper, or card, scissors and a pen.
Here’s how to play.
Cut your paper or card into rectangles, about the size of a playing card.
On each rectangle write an incomplete sentence.You can be as creative as you like and encourage your students to be creative too:
Once upon a time a young boy was walking in a forest when____.
I was recently walking to the shops when suddenly ____.
You can also use this as an opportunity to get to know your students better like we spoke about in a previous blog:
If I moved to a desert island I would take _____ with me.
I laugh when ______.
Stack your cards in the middle of the table and have your students take it in turns to pick a card and answer it. You might ask all the students to answer the same card and enjoy their different answers or have one student start the game and then continue around the classroom building a complete story based on the original sentence.
For more information about the benefits of playing games in the classroom and ideas for games you can play read our hand picked blogs here and here.
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Written by Rebecca Sparling