Thanks to technological advancement, online classes have made learning fun by keeping the students active, engaged, and thrilled.
By playing different games in the virtual classroom, students can have fun learning and also build necessary skills.
This is why I’ve compiled this list of the 23 best online classroom games.
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Charades involves looking at a word and acting it out for others to guess which word it is. The person acting can not use words or sounds to represent the word being acted.
It is an online classroom game that can be used to learn vocabulary or sounds. It can also be used to review words learned in a previous lesson or to teach a new topic.
The teacher privately sends the word to be acted to a student who acts out the word on camera for others to see and guess what he or she is trying to represent. The first student to guess right goes next. The teacher can prepare several words to be acted out or get them online.
If you are confused as to which words to use as a teacher, there are lists of words that children can easily demonstrate. They include animals and insects, books, activities, fairy tales, food and fruits, sports, musical instruments, famous places, and movies.
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Pictionary is a word-guessing game inspired by charades. This online game involves a team of players trying to figure out specific words being drawn by their teammates.
This guessing game will keep the students interested and active, both mentally and physically. It’s great for an online class as any number of people can play it.
Pictionary starts with one member of a team picking a Pictionary card that contains a word and drawing an image to represent that word.
The person drawing is not to talk or use numbers, words, or letters to represent the word. Other team members try to guess the word in under a minute by looking at the image being drawn.
Students can play the game online with a Pictionary word generator or the teacher can generate the words if there are no Pictionary cards available. It can be played via Zoom or any online learning tool.
The teacher shares the word using a private chat feature with one student who draws it and shows it to others to guess what has been drawn. The first student to guess correctly is to draw next. The teacher gets to time the game to keep it interesting.
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This involves assigning students to find objects around the house from a list within a specific time. The teacher is to compile the list of items, allocate the time, and also declare the winner.
A scavenger hunt is a common game popular with reality shows but it is also a good game that can be played online by students.
This game keeps the students active as they get to move around and have fun all at once. The students go around gathering items and once the time is up, they return to their seats and show their items to the class. The person with all the items to return first gets to be declared the winner.
To make it educational, the teacher can add items specific to a lesson or a science experiment that is about to be carried out. For a nursery class, the teacher can include items with specific colors to teach the students colors, or items with numbers, or that represent seasons.
For colors, the teacher can ask that the students bring ‘something red’, ‘something green’, and so on.
For letters, the teacher can add, for instance, ‘something that starts with L’ and other letters to the list. The teacher is to make sure that the items to be found can be easily located at home.
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Simon Says is a game that tests the alertness of students. It usually involves a child being picked among others to play Simon.
He or she gives instructions that must be followed beginning with the phrase “Simon says”. If “Simon says” is not added to the beginning of an instruction, then it should not be followed.
For instance, if the instructor says ‘jump’ without adding ‘Simon says’, whoever jumps is disqualified.
In an online class, the teacher plays Simon. To avoid running out of instructions the teacher must pen down the instructions before starting the game.
This game can be used to teach students about the parts of the body. Below is a sample of instructions that can be used:
- Simon says stand up.
- Simon says quack like a duck.
- Simon says pretend to be sleeping.
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Freeze Dance involves playing a song, getting students to dance to it, and they freeze as soon as the music is paused until the music starts playing again.
The students that fail to remain frozen get disqualified. Since this is meant to be fun, there doesn’t necessarily need to be a winner, the teacher can have the student that doesn’t stay frozen perform 10 jumping jacks to rejoin the game again or just correct the students.
Freeze Dance is an online classroom game like ‘Simon Says’ which tests the alertness of the students. They have to be prepared at all times to stop when the music is paused and start as soon as the music starts playing.
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Having a quiz to spice up learning is a must-add game to be included in this list. It is an activity that combines knowledge, wit, fun, and thrill. The students’ understanding and knowledge of a particular topic can be tested with quizzes.
The questions have to be prepared beforehand. It can be based on a previous lesson or general knowledge.
It can also be a word quiz that helps the students learn single words, compound words, and phrases. The teacher can decide to divide the class into groups and ask them questions.
An online learning tool like Zoom is ideal for teachers to display the questions on the screen while the students answer them.
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Here is another game for an online classroom that helps students practice spelling and test their knowledge of general topics. However, the teacher gets to pick the categories and the starting letter.
To keep it short and fun, the categories can be within five to seven topics. Popular categories are boys’ names, transportation, places, verbs, things, animals, insects, TV shows, movie titles, countries, fruits, holidays, clothing, drinks, flowers, food, parts of the body, cars, etc.
To play, rows and columns of five to seven are drawn on a paper or screen. The categories are written in rows while the letter to be used is written in the column.
If the students are to write it down, the teacher calls out the letter and the students fill the categories with words that begin with the letter mentioned.
For example, if the categories are: Girls’ names, verbs, animal, country, and holiday. And the letter is C, the students fill in something such as Charlotte, come, Cat, Cameroon, and Christmas.
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Here is another popular card game played by kids and teachers in a virtual environment.
In a classroom, this guessing game begins with a student or the teacher choosing an object in a private chat without telling others the object and saying “I spy with my little eyes something that begins with (the first letter of the object)” or “I spy with my little eyes something red (any color)”.
You will see the students looking around to find the object, making guesses, being active, and laughing loudly.
Every student gets to take turns to spy on something. The first student to get the object wins that round and gets to begin the next round.
I Spy seems like a simple online game but it helps to improve observation and vocabulary skills in students.
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This is a virtual classroom game that allows students to take turns. Each student gets to make three statements, two are truthful while one is a lie. After a student has done this, the others try to guess which is the lie. The student that gets it first goes next.
The statements can be from popular situations, talents, family, achievements, food, childhood, and so on. It can even be made from learned lessons, stories, scientific methods, history, and school activities.
To help students understand the game better, the teacher explains it with examples before the game begins.
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Many would think this is an adult game because of its popularity during game nights. However, it has evolved into becoming a popular online classroom game.
It involves presenting two ideas to the students, having them choose and state why they have chosen the option. Different kids will surely pick differently but that’s good as they get to think critically. This game can be used to develop the argumentative skills of the students. It can even be used as a teaching method as it has been proven to get students to talk.
The questions can be made to suit the age and class of students so it would be better to form the questions than just lifting some from the internet.
A ‘would you rather?’ question for younger students would be ‘would you rather brush your teeth with soap or toothpaste?’ or ‘would you rather wash your clothes or wear them dirty?’
A ‘would you rather?’ question for a more senior class would be ‘would you rather be a character in Williams Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights?’.
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Taboo is a guessing game that has to do with displaying a word alongside five other words that are considered taboo words.
A student gets to describe the word without using the word itself or the five other words on the card, while other students guess the word.
Just like Pictionary, Taboo is time-based. The teacher can time the students and whoever uses a taboo word gets disqualified or if other students don’t get what is being described.
Since it is an online educational game, the teacher gets to send the word to the students via private chat. They can be generated online or the teacher compiles them to suit a vocabulary lesson.
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Guess the sound is a game that is as simple as the name. The teacher plays a sound and the students guess what sound it is. It is very useful when teaching kids about phonemes in a virtual environment.
This guessing game has the students having fun and learning in the process. It improves their listening and oral skills.
Apart from phonemes, sounds made by animals, music Instruments, home appliances, etc. can also be used during the game.
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We know, yes, in Bingo numbers are being called out but why not turn these into a fun game for students online.
All that needs to be done is to send cards containing words or pictures of, for instance, sight words, science vocabularies, maths concepts, historical facts, or state capitals to the students. The words or pictures are the same but arranged differently.
Just like the original Bingo game, the teacher calls out the words while the students mark the words or pictures, any student that marks the same five words in a row shouts ‘Bingo’ and is the winner.
The rules of the game can be changed to suit the online classroom as long as the students are having fun.
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This is an online classroom game that requires yes or no answers. Each student is assigned different characters or they choose their characters and they have to guess who is who.
The students can decide to dress up but no screen gets shared and they don’t tell anyone who they are. It is a suitable game to be played via Zoom or Google Classroom.
To start playing, the teacher calls a student’s name and other students ask yes or no questions to figure out who he or she is. The questions should be based on things that can be seen, for example, Are you wearing a spectacle?
The answers given should be recorded and once anyone thinks they know who the person is then they should type their guess in the chat. The student then reveals who he or she is and the first student to guess rightly leads the game.
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Whether it is a road trip or in an online classroom, Alphabet Chain doesn’t grow old. The goal of the game is to mention words belonging to a particular category or topic for each letter of the alphabet, starting from A to Z.
For this online classroom game, a category is picked ranging from names of books, food, cars, places, celebrities, to animals.
If you are looking for a way to help kids review the alphabet and expand their vocabulary, this is it. The teacher chooses the category while the students mention the words.
Once a word cannot be mentioned for an alphabet in a category, the teacher chooses another and they start over.
In a more senior class, the category or topic can be chemical elements, diseases, parts of the body, or even mathematical terms.
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A student thinks of an object, person, place, animal, or any familiar object that other students can easily guess. The rest have to guess who or what that student is thinking about by asking 20 yes or no questions.
If after twenty questions the thought is not revealed then the student reveals what he or she thought about. The students have to guess the thought through the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers provided. Other students take turns playing the game.
This is a tricky virtual game as no one can read the mind of the thinker but through intellectual guesses, it’s possible to win. This is a game that combines critical thinking with attention to answers.
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This is a quiz game about interesting facts. It can be used to test students’ knowledge on particular or different topics and even develop positive teamwork skills.
The teacher creates a list of questions and answers and then divides the students into teams. The different teams work together to answer the questions asked and are awarded points.
To avoid the rowdiness of everyone answering at once, the different teams can assign different students for different questions to type their answers in the chatbox. The first group with the correct answer wins.
To test the students’ knowledge of a topic the questions can be made in connection with that topic. Trivia questions on popular facts can also be gotten online.
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Puzzles are commonly found in classrooms. They are used to teach children cognition, coordination, and patience.
The age of the students determines how difficult the puzzle should be. Nevertheless, teachers can get diverse puzzles on the internet and showcase them to students in an online classroom.
Keeping in mind that the goal is to have fun while learning, the puzzle should be simple and easy to arrange.
A blank copy of the puzzle is to be made visible to help them know what they are expected to get at the end.
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One noteworthy mention on our list of the best online classroom games is Story Chain. It involves thinking fast and creating a sentence that would match the story being told.
To play this game, the teacher simply starts the story by saying something like “Last week I went to the market to get a new pair of shoes…” and the students continue building the story by adding their ideas.
Before starting the game, the teacher should display the names of the students on the chat screen. This list would inform the students about the next player during the storytelling process.
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‘Whose weekend?’ is another guessing game that’s best played on Monday morning in a virtual classroom.
It involves the students writing out what they did on the weekend and sending it privately to the teacher.
The teacher reads out the activities done, while the students are expected to guess the identity of the student that performed the activity during the weekend.
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Odd one out requires critical thinking and testing the knowledge of the students. It is a virtual educational game that can be used to find out if the students have been following up on a lesson.
A series of four words are presented with one being odd, that is, it doesn’t fit into the group and they have to figure out which one it is.
This can be played in several ways; the teacher can share the words on the screen and have them answered verbally, send them to the students privately and have them tick the answers, or send a link of the game to the students and play it on a website.
If the teacher can share the words on the screen and have them answered verbally, the students get to explain why they think which one is the odd one. This allows for participation and opinion building.
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If you are looking for a game that can be used to develop the students’ knowledge of the different parts of speech, then Mad Libs is perfect.
It is a word game with a phrasal template where a story is created with blank spaces that need to be filled with different parts of speech. The teacher can limit it to a particular part of speech as part of a lesson.
Mad Libs can be generated online or written by the teacher and then shared in an instant message or private chat with the students.
The teacher can decide to make it more participatory by reading out the story and allowing the students to verbally give part of speech that fits into the different blank spaces.
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Hangman is formerly a paper and pencil word guessing game usually played by two or more players. But now, it can be played in a virtual classroom setting.
This virtual game helps students to learn and revise words. To start the game, the teacher comes up with a word and doesn’t say it out loud.
In essence, the teacher can display the clues to the answer in the group chat or display screen, while the students have to guess the different letters.
This can also be played by dividing the students into groups and they get to score points for each letter suggested as a group. This is a way of instilling teamwork in kids.
There you have it! Twenty-three of the best online classroom games that make learning both fun and productive. You don’t need a complex online tool or extensive preparation to play them.
In fact, you can play any of these games by using remote learning mediums such as Google Classroom, Zoom, Google Slides, Zoho Show, MS PowerPoint, etc.
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