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What are the benefits of playing charades in the classroom?

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Let’s play charades! 

Charades is a classic party game, but it’s not just for social gatherings and family game nights. What better way to engage the students in your classroom than with a game? Incorporating charades into your educational toolkit can bring with it a whole range of benefits. 

What are the benefits of playing charades in the classroom?

Charades - the classic party game where you take turns to act out a word or phrase while everyone tries to guess what it iis. Playing charades with your students in the classroom can have numerous benefits: 

  1. Improved communication skills - You might be wondering how your students will be improving their communication skills with a game where they cannot talk but charades is perfect for helping your students hone their non verbal communication skills, such as facial expressions, body language and gestures. 
  2. Teamwork and social skills: Charades is played in teams, meaning your students need to work together effectively to guess and act out the clues.
  3. Creativity and problem solving: Acting out abstract concepts can be challenging, especially for younger students. They will need to tap into imagination and think outside the box while developing creative problem-solving skills. 
  4. Classroom engagement: Playing games like charades with your students can provide a welcome break from traditional teaching time, helping your students unwind and allowing them to engage in the learning process without even realising it! 
  5. Improves focus: Your students will need to be patient and take turns while each team plays the game. They will need to focus on their own team and listen to each other to figure out the clues together. 


How to play charades in the classroom

Now we understand why charades is such a useful tool in the classroom we can look at how to play it.. 

  1. Create your own clue cards: Tailor the game to the curriculum. Pick topics you are currently covering with your students, the vocabulary will be fresh in their minds and charades can help them engage with the subject matter. 
  2. Keep it simple: For younger students it is easier to stick to one word clues, you could pick animals, emotions, sports, create clues you are sure they will know. 
  3. Establish the rules: Before you begin, be clear about your expectations. Explain how your students can use gestures, explain that they cannot talk and establish rules for taking turns. 
  4. Split the class into two teams: Have one student from each team come to the front of the class and pick a clue card. 
  5. Set the time limit: Once the students had their words or phrases set the timer. Each student will then have a set time (60 seconds is a great starting point) to act out their word or phrase. When Team A is done, it is Team B’s time to play. 
  6. Count the points: Each team gets a point for each correctly guessed word or phrase. You could even give the opposing team an opportunity to steal a point by offering them a chance to guess the word or phrase, if the original team has not guessed correctly, after the timer has run out. 

Not only is charades great fun but it is also a fantastic teaching tool. We have spoken about the importance of brain breaks before, if you would like to read more about them you will find our blog post here. Charades is a great way to take a break in between focused tasks, it gets your students up and moving and best of all laughing together. Remember to adapt the game to your specific teaching goals and establish clear rules to create a positive learning experience for the whole class. 


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Written by Rebecca Sparling


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