Friday, July 18, 2014

Charades in the Classroom

There are so many classic party games and recess games that kids in our digital age have never heard of.  These games are mentioned in books all the time, and not knowing the games means that kids have a hard time connecting to and understanding these books.  Teaching them in the classroom not only increases a child’s background knowledge and gives them a creative new way to play, but also can include curriculum connections.

Using charades can help increase student engagement and encourage curriculum connections.

Charades is a great example of a game that can be used to create curriculum connections while keeping kids engaged and giving them a new set of background knowledge.  Remind students that in charades you can use movements and gestures, but no sounds or words.  Here are some simple ways to use charades in your classroom:

1.)  Act out vocabulary words – Anything from vocabulary words in your content unit to vocabulary words from a novel study to ESL vocabulary words can be acted out. 

Write each word on a piece of paper – throw them in a hat (or cup or baggie or whatever you have on hand). Have students pull a paper and act it out while the rest of the class tries to guess what the word is.

Using charades can help increase student engagement and encourage curriculum connections. 2.)  Act out the plot of a book you have read as a whole class – This works best at the end of the school year, when you have read a variety of books together.  For older students, this could be a way to review classic books like Dr. Seuss or other books they “should have” read when they were younger.  It can also be way to review a group of short stories or poems that you have read.

Write the title of each story on pieces of paper - throw them in a hat (or cup or baggie or whatever you have on hand). Have students pull a paper and act out the plot while the rest of the class tries to guess which book it is.

3.)  Pretend to be a favorite person, or a favorite time period – Great for your Social Studies review, but would also work with famous scientists, famous authors or people in the news. 

Write the names of a bunch of people on pieces of paper (You could substitute historical events here as well) - throw them in a hat (or cup or baggie or whatever you have on hand). Have students pull a paper and act out the person – or people from that time period - while the rest of the class tries to guess who or when it is.

4.)  Pretend to be a certain animal – For younger students guessing the animal itself would be enough, but to make it more challenging for older students, they might call out an animal that would be predator – or prey – to this animal, where the animal might live (habitat or continent) or an evolutionary cousin of the animal (ie. horse and donkey)

Write the names of a bunch of animals on pieces of paper - throw them in a hat (or cup or baggie or whatever you have on hand). Have students pull a paper and act out the animal’s actions while the rest of the class tries to call out the correct answer.

5.) Act out a shape or an angle – Even Math can get in on the charades game.  Have students “be the shape” – 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional, or create the correct angle, while their friends call out the names of these geometrical principles.

Write the names of a bunch of shapes or concepts on pieces of paper - throw them in a hat (or cup or baggie or whatever you have on hand). Have students pull a paper and use their body to represent that shape or concept while the rest of the class tries to call out the correct answer.

 

boardgamesfortheclassroom How else could you use charades in your classroom?  For more suggestions on how to use games in the classroom, come back regularly for my Friday Game Night posts.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources