Chalk or whiteboards are a staple in any classroom. They are these magical things where we display our calendars and important reminders, teach students vital skills, and even give shout-outs to students on their birthdays. But another fun, engaging way to use chalk or whiteboards of any size is by playing games that engage students! Use the games below to have fun, gauge student understanding of topics, or create a positive classroom environment!
1. Wheel of Fortune
Turn learning into a competitive game by breaking your classroom into groups and having them play Wheel of Fortune to figure out key concepts you want to introduce to your students. Students will have fun while also learning!
Learn more: The Balanced Literacy Diet
2. Relay Race
The great thing about this educational game is that it can be tailored to different subjects you are covering in class. Want to assess their math skills? Interested in seeing if students remember the key vocabulary you just covered? Follow the directions given to test students' knowledge in these areas and more!
Learn more: Fred Jones
Hangman is a favorite game in many classrooms because students feel like they are playing a fun, informal game, but really you are building their retention skills by going over key terminology! You can also make it a team game by breaking your class into groups!
Learn more: Wiki How
4. Words into Drawings
Have a fun time with classroom vocabulary by having students turn-key concepts into pictures! This game can be used with any age group of children--just use simpler words for young children and more advanced for older ones!
Learn more: Caters Clips
5. Running Dictation
In this fun game, you can assess both retention skills and spelling skills at the same time. Break your class into groups--like runner, writer, and cheerleader--and you be the game monitor, and students race around the class to complete their sentences.
Learn more: Comprehensible Classroom
Create a jeopardy board grid on your chalk or dry-erase board and assess age-appropriate skills at any grade level. This classic game can be used to gauge students' understanding of any subject you can think of by asking each group of students a subject matter question from geography, English, history--you name it!
Learn more: Tekhnologic
7. Tic Tac Toe
Another classic, this can be adapted to be an assessment game for children of all ages. Break the class into two groups and ask them review questions for a chance to place an X or an O on the gameboard. A fun alternative to having students write on the board is using the plastic letters of X and O to place on the game board. You can even vary this by taking them outside and playing a sidewalk chalk board game of review tic-tac-toe!
Learn more: Education World
Turn assessing retention skills into a game by playing a game of Pictionary with your class! Using card stock or index cards, write important key terms you want to assess. Make sure these are terms students can draw pictures of!
Learn more: English Teaching 101 Official
9. Spelling Dash
If you are looking for creative whiteboard games to assess spelling skills, look no further! Using mini-whiteboards, have each student in a group write the first letter of a given word and then pass the board to their next teammate to continue the word!
Learn more: ELT Planning
10. Last Letter First Letter
There are multiple ways you can use this game to assess age-appropriate skills. Younger students? Have them play the game writing any word they can think of that begins with the last letter of the word written before them. Older students? Assess their geography knowledge by having them only write the name of a country or famous person!
Learn more: Considerable
11. Sentence Building
12. Hot Seat
Another adaptable game, cover key concepts you want students to retain by playing Hot Seat! You can have one person be the guesser of the word written on the whiteboard as other students give them clues, or you can break your class into groups!
Learn more: Games 4 ESL
13. Family Feud
This game is structured very much like the popular game Family Feud. Young students will love seeing if their answer is one of the top answers on the chalkboard!
Learn more: Games 4 ESL
If you have a space of time to fill, play Whiteboard Scrabble. Students can practice their spelling skills in this fun, unique twist on the popular board game!
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15. Dots and Boxes XYZ
A math game for older students, this one is a fun twist on the classic Dots and Boxes game. Students will be racing to complete boxes in the areas that get them the most points while also trying to block their opponent from getting points. To play with younger students, leave the variables and numbers out of the squares.
Learn more: Math Pickle
17. Word Unscramble
Want to cement key vocabulary terms in students' brains or simply practice spelling skills? Write words scrambled up on the whiteboard and have students write the correct spellings below.
Learn more: Fun English Games
18. Stop the Bus
You can use this fun Scattegories-like game to assess students' knowledge of key concepts in any classroom. Utilize your whiteboard to write down the categories and letters you want them to use, and give them mini-whiteboards to record as many words as they can starting with the given letter.
Learn more: ESL Kids Games
The video above shows you how to play Honeycomb using your whiteboard. Play this fun, competitive game with your students to go over important terms you want to review. Students will be racing to fill up the honeycomb with their team's color!
Learn more: Guys With Games ESL
20. Word Wheel
The last item in the attached list, this word game is a great way for students to practice their critical thinking skills. A little like Boggle, students use the letters on the wheel to create words. You can make the game even higher stakes by assigning higher point values to more difficult-to-use letters. And if you want more ideas for games, the rest of the list on the attached site is a good start!
Learn more: ESL Vault