Have you tried playing distance learning games with your students? Games are a great way to help students stay engaged and a part of the school community.
I know you play games IN the classroom, but thinking of distance learning games can be a challenge. In this post, I will share a few of my favorite games to play through Zoom, Google Meet, or other video chat software.
Not all distance learning games will work for every teacher and student, but give them a try! They don’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be fun and relieve a bit of stress and uncertainty from all of our lives.
These distance learning games don’t require special materials and can be played in small spaces. They are all about upping the fun and encouraging community. Some games can be used to review content, which others are meant to keep your community tight. All of these distance learning games have a purpose, so don’t be afraid to have a little fun!
Video Chat Scavenger Hunt
I first played this one with a group of friends, and then brought it to a Zoom class. The rules are simple and the game is hilarious! The teacher or facilitator chooses a color, category, or letter and tells everyone else to go grab something from their home that fits.
For example, I might ask students to find something red. Students hunt for an item that is red and bring it back to show to the group. I pick my favorite, and then that student becomes the judge.
The next judge then asks everyone to find something beginning with the letter R. This hunt includes me, as I am no longer the judge, so off I go.
This process repeats for as long as you would like. It is hilarious to see what everyone comes up with!
- Tips for success:
- Before you begin the game, work together to brainstorm some categories the judge can ask you to find. This will keep students from growing frustrated with not knowing what to pick and will hopefully mix it up a bit throughout the game.
- Encourage students to be safe when they go looking for an item and to only go for their own belongings, not to scavenge through their family’s stuff.
- Set a time limit for each hunt that will allow students enough time to scavenge safely, but not so long that everyone is waiting around. You want to keep this game pretty high tempo.
- Spread the judging around. Each student can only be the judge twice to ensure that as many as possible get to be the judge.
I love to play a couple of rounds of this game to get students up and moving and then move on to our next thing. Students look forward to it and never know when in their classtime it is going to happen.
This game requires a little bit of prep, but is totally worth it! Before class, have students write a description of themselves with little known facts. Alternatively, you can email parents and ask them to write the descriptions.
Then during class, you read off the descriptions and everyone gets to guess who the mystery student is. This game is the most fun when students share things about themselves that are truly unique. That way, once they are revealed you can have them explain their experience.
- Tips for success:
- Give examples of descriptions that include unique facts and stories that will be interesting for the class.
- Read off one fact or sentence of the description at a time and allow a couple of students to guess who they think the mystery student is before reading the next clue.
- Celebrate each student and what they shared after they are revealed.
For a more academic approach, you could write clues for mystery numbers, mystery books, or mystery historical events or people. The possibilities are endless!
Digital Stinky Feet
If you know me, you already knew this one was coming!
I love to play Digital Stinky Feet with my students, and honestly, it makes the perfect distance learning game. In fact, I wrote a whole post about it you can check out here.
You could take a truly academic approach with one of the pre-made games, or play a game with silly and strange facts or personalize it with information about your class with the editable template. It is really up to you how to play!
Video Chat Charades
This distance learning game is played the same way as traditional charades, but it is made even easier because you can put the person who is acting out the clues on mute! Meaning, there are no accidental word blurts which is very helpful.
- Tips for success:
- Before you begin the game, show students some classic charades moves like telling the audience of guessers how many words are in the phrase and how to act out a category.
- Have a bank of items to act out and private message them to each student who will be doing the acting.
- You might even send them their acting challenge before you meet so they can brainstorm how to act it out successfully.
- Encourage students to listen to one another’s guesses and build on the group thinking.
Again, this game could be played just for fun or with academic content. For example, students could act out the water cycle trying to get their classmates to guess precipitation.
So Many More Distance Learning Games!
There are so many more games that could be played through video chat, but these are my favorite! I would love to know what games you have had success with, so comment below and let me know.
To spice your Zoom call up, even more, I have a FREE set of end of the year Zoom backgrounds ready for you including a couple of animated backgrounds.
Enjoy your games!