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EASY DISTANCE LEARNING & REMOTE TEACHING ACTIVITIES TO PLAY WITH STUDENTS ONLINE

Most of us are Remote Teaching/Distance Learning these days.  Have you started?  It can be tricky.

First, you need to teach your students how to appropriately access the technology that you will using, e.g. Zoom, Google Meet, etc. {Read all about that and grab a free PowerPoint about the rules and manners to use on Zoom, HERE. }

Next, you need to have things to do that are easy and fun!

Many of our kiddos are easily distracted and have challenges focusing on peers, in person.  Socializing online, can be even more tricky.

We need to have fun activities to keep our students engaged.  They need to be fairly short in length {under 20 minutes} and they need to be super easy for both teacher and student to access, i.e. low prep. and few materials needed.

Why?

Well… certainly we all come to this situation with a different skill set, but many of us are not technology experts and on top of that, we may be feeling the stress of everything that is going on with COVID-19, both from the personal side and the professional side.  We may have our own children at home who need our support {or who interrupt us while we are teaching}, we may have elderly parents who we need to shop for and are concerned about, and if your house is anything like mine…you have tons of extra laundry and dishes to do!

I don’t know about you, but when I get in a Zoom meeting with my students, I have a bit {or more} of anxiety.  I need to have all my “ducks in a row,” before the meeting begins.  Handling the technology part…making sure all students invited are in the meeting, monitoring comments, muting and unmuting, screen sharing etc… is more than enough stress on me.  I need the actual activity, to be E-A-S-Y.

So, to that end, I have come up with some ideas for easy games and activities to play with students on Zoom, Google Meet, or any other video conferencing platform.

I hope you find them fun, helpful and easy to play.

 

Easy Word Games

Word games lend themselves well to playing online because all you need to do is talk.  You don’t really even need to have video, so these games can be great if you have a kiddo who doesn’t want to be on camera.  Here are a few that are fun and easy to play. Grab your “At-A-Glance” Game List, HERE.

1. Rhyme Time:  Someone leads by choosing a word.  Next, go around the group and have each person rhyme to that word. See how long you can go, rhyming words. If you want to get fancy, you can keep score by writing down each leader’s word choice, the names of your students, and then tally how many rhymes each student gets for it.  The winner is the person who gets the most rhymes.  This is easy in small groups of 2-4.  You can also have the students tally for themselves.

2.  Pick Five:  This is a fun game of listing categories.  You can change it to be pick 3 or make it harder, pick 10…whatever works for your group.  Start by choosing a category, e.g. ice cream flavors.  Next, students have to pick the given number of the item, in that category, for example: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cookies-n-cream, rocky road…  To continue, you can either stay on that topic and require the next person to come up with new items in the category, i.e. no repeats, or you can have the next student pick a new category and take turns calling on someone to answer.

3.  Name, Place, Thing:

Pick a letter, then go around the group and give a Name{famous}, Place and Thing that begins with that letter. Go as far through the alphabet as you can or just pick random letters, e.g. letter A= Abraham Lincoln, Alabama, Apple.

This game allows for lots of variation so that you can differentiate according to the needs of your students.  You can also use it for multiple subjects.  Need a math game, use math categories such as “Ways to make 10” or “Even numbers.”   Do the same with other subjects.

 

Verbal Games

These games require some thinking and employ many executive functioning skills. 

4.  20 Questions:  The game, 20 questions encourages deductive reasoning and creativity.  Fun fact: It became popular in the 1940’s through radio.

To play: one player is chosen to be the answerer. That person chooses a subject (object) but does not reveal this to the others. All other players are questioners. They each take turns asking a question which can be answered with “Yes” or “No.” If you would like, you can adapt the rules to include a possible answer of  “Maybe” or “Sometimes.”

The answerer answers each question using the agreed upon responses. Sample questions could be: “Is it bigger than a breadbox?” or “Can I eat it?” Remind your students that lying is not allowed in the game. If a questioner guesses the correct answer, that questioner wins and becomes the answerer for the next round.

If 20 questions are asked without a correct guess, then the answerer has stumped the questioners and gets to be the answerer for another round.

5.  I Spy:

One person is the “Spy.”  That person looks in all of the other backgrounds and finds something to spy about.  Then they say, “I spy with my little eye, something…” and describe the item using a very small detail, such as a color.  The others try to guess what it is.  Whoever guesses correctly is the next spy.  Everyone playing must sit in one place and not move their computer screen around at all.

6.  Alphabet Scavenger Hunt:

Starting with the letter ‘A’ go around the group and say something you see in any of the backgrounds, including your own, that begins with that letter.  Move through the alphabet as far as you can.  Variation: Play this using your imagination about various places, for example: in a park, or at the beach, or at school, etc. 

7.  What Am I?

The person who is “It” thinks of an animal, object or place.  Next, they start to describe that item using general clues and then getting more specific as needed.  Continue giving clues until someone guesses it.  The person who guesses correctly goes next. 

8.  I’m Thinking Of Someone Who…

This game is best if played with a medium to large group so that it is not so obvious.  The person who is “It” picks someone in the group to “Think About” and then starts to describe them using general information and getting more and more detailed as needed until someone guesses who it is.  The person who guesses correctly is the next person to be “It.”

9.  Simon Says:

Just like the typical game but in this case be sure that anything Simon says can be done and seen in front of the screen.  Small movements from the chest up are best, e.g. “Simon says touch your nose, Simon says smile, Simon says clap your hands, Simon says stick your tongue out…”

 

Some Prep. Required Games

10.  Trivia:  Kids love trivia.  And it’s super easy to play online, since all you need are the trivia questions.  There are lots of trivia lists available for free on Pinterest.  Here’s one that looks good.  And Here Is One More that also looks good.

11.  Charades:  If your video conferencing platform allows for sending private messages{Zoom does}, send each group member a few words that they can use to act out for the game. I always like to have a theme.  Next, take turns having students act out their word while the other group members try to guess what it is.  *Be thoughtful when choosing the words, make sure they are things that can be easily acted out from your seat, e.g. cracking an egg, giving a high five, rocking a baby, stirring cake batter, hammering a nail, etc.   Here is a Disney Charades list.  Here is another list that looks good.

12.  Pictionary: As with charades, send a list of words for each member of the group to draw.  If your video conferencing platform does not have a way to write each person privately, you can send your students and list via email ahead of time.  Choose the words based on the level of your students.  This post has a great list of 300 Pictionary words for kids.

13.  Following Directions Drawing:  This fun game only requires your students to have a piece of paper and something to draw with.  It’s more interesting if they have some crayons/markers or colored pencils as well.  You give the group directions for what to draw.  Ask them to follow the directions as closely as possible.  When done, see how everyone’s picture looks.  Do they look the same, different? In what way?  Did people interpret things differently?  This is a fun exercise on following directions and also on perspective.  *It’s helpful if you have your drawing done first and or you have written out directions ahead of time.

14.  Cooperative Drawing:. Using the whiteboard feature on screen share in Zoom, draw a group picture by having each student draw one part of the picture. This is a great activity for working on teamwork and cooperation, giving and following directions, negotiating, accepting feedback, accepting differences, being flexible and more!  *Choose your picture to draw based on the students in your group. Simple ideas may include things like: A Flower, A Clown, A Tree, A House.  Medium level ideas might include things like: A Playground, A Beach, A Picnic, A Kid’s Bedroom.  Challenging ideas may include things like: A Library, The Inside Of A School Bus, The Inside Of A Refrigerator, The Solar System.

15.  Hang Man:  Using the whiteboard feature on screen share in Zoom, you can play a classic game of Hang Man by drawing the picture and lines for the word(s) on the whiteboard. 

16.  Would You Rather: Another fun game that kids love to play.  You can get free lists of Would You Rather ideas on Pinterest.   

17. Show And Tell: Have your students bring a small item to you virtual group and tell the others all about it. Next, have each student ask a related question or make a thoughtful comment.

 

Board/Card Games Requiring Everyone To Have It

These games can be played while on Zoom or any other video conferencing platform as long as both or all parties have the game in their home.  Luckily, these common games are found in many homes.  Check ahead and if all parties have it, you are good to go!

18.  Go Fish

 

 

19.  Apples To Apples:

 

 

20.  Guess Who?

 

 

21.  HEDBANZ:

 

 

22.  BATTLESHIP:

 

 

Would you like a Would You Rather Game To Target Social Skills?

 

 

You can grab this Would You Rather activity by signing up for my free club, The Teacher’s Lounge.  You will get this download immediately and will soon begin receiving your weekly Freebies! 

I hope you find these games and activities fun and easy to play!  Please let me know in the comments below if you have any other game ideas that I can add on to this list!

 

Thanks So Much and Happy Teaching!

Cindy ~Socially Skilled Kids

 

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