Zoom games can be effective brain breaks during remote learning. In this blog post, I have rounded up five of my students’ favorite Zoom games during remote learning. Enjoy!
Charades is the game where you act out a word without talking; your teammates’ job is to guess and figure out what it is. Here is how you can play the game on Zoom:
- Pick a student/staff to be “it”
- Give the student/staff a word using the direct chat function.
- Make sure everyone can see the person acting out the word.
- Rules: the student/staff cannot say/spell out the word.
Variations: Depending on the level of your class, the word can be abstract or concrete. It can also be a concept that your class has been working on. Depending on your students’ levels, “it” can be allowed or prohibited to talk.
2: Memory Game
This game is a great way to prime students to pay attention during remote learning. It is also a great brain break for students in the middle of class. Below is how I can play the game with my students on Zoom:
- Create a slide deck filled with pictures of random but familiar items (e.g. crayons, erasers, tape, glue sticks, pencils, paper, snacks, etc.)
- Share your screen to display said slide
- Give students 5-10 seconds to memorize the slide
- Stop sharing your screen and delete one item off of the slide
- Share your screen again to display the updated slide
- Ask students to name the missing item
Variations: I have seen other educators use real-life objects on a tray to play this game with their students. Rather than using the screen-share function, you can move the tray in and out of frame. Depending on the level of your students, you can determine the number of items you put on your slide/tray.
3. Minute Lists
I like to play this game with my students at the end of class. It serves as a very neat recap of the lesson. Here is how you can play this game with your students during Zoom classes:
- Give your students a topic
- Display a one-minute timer
- Encourage students to list as many under the topic as possible
- Record students’ responses (optional)
Variations: The world is your oyster when it comes to the topic! Popular ones in my class include colors, initial alphabets, holidays, seasons, and locations.
4. Simon Says
Simon Says is the legendary game where a chosen leader calls out actions, and everyone else must follow and do the actions, but only when Simon Says. I love playing this game with my students after a long day of Zoom lessons. It provides a much-needed motor break for them. Here is how you can play the game on Zoom:
- Choose a student/staff to be the leader
- The leader will call out actions, sometimes with the phrase “Simon Says” before the action.
- The class will follow the leader’s command and do the actions, but only when the phrase “Simon Says” is announced.
- Participants who miss the mark is out.
- The last one left is the winner.
5. Scavenger Hunt
Saving the best for last! My favorite Zoom game to play with my students during distance learning is Scavenger Hunt! This game requires students to collect miscellaneous items from their environments. Here is how to play this game virtually via Zoom:
- Announce the item you want students to collect (e.g. “Find something that is blue”)
- Determine how long students have to hunt for the item. Start timer.
- Give students opportunities to share their finds.
Variations: The world is your oyster when it comes to the items you can have students find (e.g. colors, uses, locations, sounds, spellings, etc.)!
Bonus: App Games for Remote Learning
If you are looking for no-prep games for your class, take a look at Simply Special Eds 50 Apps for Special Education blog post! You can either assign your students to complete the game on their own or use the share screen function to play with students!
Do you play Zoom games with your students during remote learning? Which of the featured games is your favorite? Leave a comment to let me know!