The season for classroom parties is upon us, and while they can come with stress and anxiety they are also an opportunity to build up your classroom community and have some fun with your students!
Instead of going all out with your classroom parties, take the opportunity to really enjoy your time with your students and have some fun! This can be achieved through the use of cooperative learning games. These games will have your students working together toward a common goal of having fun. The giggles will never stop!
There are many cooperative learning games you can use during your classroom parties. I wanted to share two of my favorite activities with you.
This cooperative learning game has always been a favorite for my students during their classroom parties. It is simple to play, requires very little prep, and can be played over and over again.
This game follows the same principle of the Telephone Game or Gossip you probably played as a kid where you start with a message and pass it around the circle before revealing what the message now is by the end and compare it to the original.
With visual telephone, you do the same thing, but instead of passing a message by whispering you pass a visual by drawing it on one another’s backs.
- Gather a bank of seasonal images. These images may be cut out of magazines or images you drew on sticky notes. They should have a basic outline that can be easily copied.
- Split students into teams of 4-5.
- Students line up facing the same direction towards a chalk or dry erase board.
- The student at the back of the line is given the original image and tries their best to draw the image on the back of the person in front of them with their finger or the eraser end of a pencil.
- Students continue to draw the image on the student in front of them until the image reaches the last teammate.
- The last member of each team draws the image, to the best of their ability, on the board.
- Once all teams have completed their drawing on the board it is revealed what each of the original images was and the giggles begin.
Tips for Success with Visual Telephone
Modeling is vital for this activity. Showing students how to slowly and gently draw the image on their teammates back should be practiced. It is also important to emphasize the correct amount of pressure to use when drawing.
Another thing to make sure students understand is that this game is meant to be silly. While you are trying to get your image as close to the original as possible it is funny when it is completely different. Embrace the opportunity to laugh, and don’t ridicule one another for the drawings.
This activity is another great one for classroom parties because students are working together to create seasonal
visuals all while working on their communication skills.
For this cooperative learning game students should be in partners and each student will need a paper and writing utensil. Each set of partners will also need a folder or other separating device.
Partners face one another with their paper and writing utensil with the dividing folder between them. Partners should be able to clearly hear one another, but should not be able to see each other’s papers.
- The teacher gives a topic such as, “A Snowy Day.”
- Think time is given.
- Partner A goes first. They begin drawing on their paper and use precise
language to describe what they are drawing one step at a time.
- Partner B’s job is to listen carefully to the steps to draw and complete their own drawing trying to match Partner A’s as closely as possible.
- After their drawings are complete, students share their drawings with one another and the giggling commences!
- Partners trade roles, a new topic is given, and they repeat the process.
Tips for Success:
Before completing a round of Dual Drawings with partners practice with you, the teacher, playing the role of partner A while all students are partner B.
Model for students how to use simple shapes that are easy to describe to create your picture as well as precise directional language such as on top of, beneath, to the left of, to the right of, and diagonally. This practice will help students to make a plan for how to describe their own drawings.
Once again, make sure to emphasize with students how this activity is meant to be just for fun and silly, it is not imperative, although impressive, to match their partner’s drawings. The fun is in seeing how differently two people will follow the same directions.
Can’t Get Enough Cooperative Learning?
Are you on the hunt for more cooperative learning goodness? Check out this post with all things cooperative learning to be inspired with more activities and strategies!
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