4 Ways Teachers Can Gamify Their Lesson Plans

School is about learning, building social skills and setting students up for success—but there’s no reason it can’t involve a bit of fun and games, too. The gamification of learning has measurable benefits that parents, and educators alike can appreciate. A Roblox-inspired math lesson may boost student engagement, and Minecraft blocks translate well to lessons about geometry or measuring area. You can add gaming elements or popular characters to just about any lesson from literacy to social studies or gym, reaching students on their level while making lessons more exciting and interactive.

This approach has been proven to aid in the cognitive development of adolescents while increasing student engagement. In some cases, gamification can encourage kids to get active and move their bodies during lessons while in other cases, it may make lessons more accessible to students with autism or other developmental conditions.

The gamification of your lesson plan may involve tech, creative play or getting outside. No matter how you design these fun-filled learning activities, we bet your students will have fun—in fact, it may be a school year they never forget. Here are some ideas to inspire any educator’s next lesson plan.

Start with An App

There are a wide variety of learning games available to students and teachers, and you’ve probably tried a few already. If your classroom has enough Chromebooks or tablets for each student, you’re all set. Some popular options to consider in your classroom include Kahoot, which allows you to build personalized, interactive quizzes, or Blooket, which offers a similar take on trivia and review games. You can even challenge your class to complete the daily Wordle as a class (or, create your own version using a whiteboard). You can also have them complete an online crossword puzzle as a team.

Even without using an app, look to popular online or video games for inspiration when planning classroom activities. Consider using Zelda or Mario characters to share information in a slide show, or incorporating other popular figures in word-based questions and puzzles. Score students in “game points” or stars, including other gamified elements for added fun.

Adapt Popular Board Games

There are many hands-on learning games that individual students can play (Rush Hour is a great option) as well as group games like Bingo. But don’t stop there: Educators can get creative by innovating or adapting classroom lessons to mimic a game of trivia, Cranium, Scrabble or other word games. Turn your classroom into a round of Clue or if you’re really ambitious, Settlers of Catan. Want to keep it simple? Younger students may enjoy a word search featuring the names of their friends, teachers or items within the classroom.

If you don’t have the time or materials needed to adapt a board game, consider simple activities that involve cards and dice. This website has some excellent learning games for early readers and this one has some awesome games that help teach math.

Get Outside

There are endless ways for kids to learn outside, including the ideas of this fantastic list. While art and science are particularly effective in an outdoor setting, you can teach just about any class on the playground or on the soccer field. An outdoor scavenger hunt can be adapted to teach everything from science to literacy skills or math. You can use traditional materials like pens or pencils and paper on a clipboard, or get modern with an app like GooseChase. This is a fun way to combine critical thinking, physical movement and plenty of fun. Plus, you’ll all get a little fresh air (and maybe even some sunshine) while learning outdoors.

Role Play

Role playing activities are great because they build student engagement while encouraging students to collaborate with and support their peers. A Carmen Sandiego inspired geography lesson will be a ton of fun for elementary school students. Or, consider setting up a fake crime scene (for example, a stolen lunch box) and leave clues for your students to decipher. This can be used to teach science, math, literary or social studies, depending on how you structure the clues. Older students may be able to solve a murder mystery (or at least, a PG-13 version) in class. A mock trial can be a great way to teach both drama and civics lessons. This teacher resource site offers some great tips for high school educators who want to give this activity a try. Or, create your own gamified experience—you know your students best, so draw on that information to create something uniquely lively and engaging. Then, it’s game on!

By Staples Canada

April 05, 2022