In the age of pandemic, more and more schools are turning to online platforms to keep classes connected. This can be a great way to keep students engaged and learning, but it can also be tricky to come up with new ideas for activities.
So, as a new school year starts, we've put together this list of 21 online classroom games and activities your students will love! From word games and puzzles to math challenges, we've got something for everyone.
Get ready to connect with your students in a whole new way!
While there are many ways to do a virtual scavenger hunt, our favorite is our photo hunt! Using 5 easy-to-customize prompts, you can have your students send in pictures they already have on their phones.
Or, take the challenge up a notch, set a timer, and give the photo prompt and send your students off to find the item and send in the picture.
No matter which method you use, your students are sure to get a kick out of sharing a little bit of their lives through this online game.
For all the budding adventurers out there, this one's for you!
With the popularity of Dungeons and Dragons growing again, you can now take your whole class on a journey, right from their computers! Our Dungeons and Dragons slide deck walks teams through specific tasks and trivia in order to defeat the bad guys and save the day!
No dice needed!
This is a great game for building vocabulary and getting students thinking on their feet. One student starts by saying a word, any word. The next student then has to say a word in response that's related to the first word. This can go on for as long as you like, and you can keep score to see who comes up with the most creative connections!
Or use our Word Blurt slide deck and give word or photo prompts to the group, to keep everyone engaged.
A photo sharing game is great for building community and getting students to share a little bit about themselves. Have students choose a photo that represents something important to them, then have them share it with the class along with a short explanation. You can even create a class collage of all the photos to hang up in your virtual classroom!
Not sure where to start?
Use our Photo Sharing game slide deck, customize it to fit your students, and let the prompts do their work.
A unique twist on a virtual scavenger hunt, a math scavenger hunt is a great way to review math concepts and get students moving around. And there are so many great ways to lead out in a math scavenger hunt. Some of our favorites include:
Have students solve problems for specific measurements and take pictures of items matching that measurement.
Ask students to bring coins to virtual class and have them show coins in the amounts you ask for.
Have your students take pictures of things in nature matching the numbers they've solved for in their math problems (e.g. the number of petals on a flower).
This is a great way to build community and have some fun!
Encourage your students to showcase their talents, whether it's singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or telling jokes.
You can have student volunteers sign up ahead of time or do it as a surprise. Students can perform live on camera or share a video of them showcasing their talent.
Two Truths and a Lie is a classic icebreaker game great for getting to know your students. Have each student share two true things and one lie about themselves, then let the rest of the class try to guess which is which.
You can even make it a competition to see who can stump the most people!
This is a great game for younger students or to review vocabulary words. One student starts by describing an object, person, or animal without using specific words. The next student then draws what they hear. This can go on for as many rounds as you like, and you can keep score to see who guesses the most correctly.
Another fun iteration of this game is for you to describe a drawing or picture to the entire class and see what different results you get!
Why not take a classic classroom game and adjust it to a virtual environment?
One of our favorite examples of this is virtual charades. Send a student something to act out in the group chat - Like an animal or emotion. Then have the classroom guess what the student is trying to act out.
Split the class into teams if you want to add a layer of competitiveness to the game.
There are 2 ways you can play Pictionary virtually with your class. The first is the traditional way. Divide your class into teams and send a word to a member of 1 team. That student then turns their webcam to their drawing and draws until their team guesses the word or they run out of time.
For a simpler option, you can use a virtual whiteboard and have the student drawing share their screen for their team to guess.
Whichever team has the most correct guesses at the end, wins!
We're big fans of games that get students burning off a little extra energy, which is why Freeze is such a great option.
Play a song while students dance around their rooms (within sight of the camera). Then, at random times, stop the music and yell Freeze!
Students then have to get back in their chairs as fast as possible, with the last one being 'out'. Keep playing until all but 1 student is still standing.
This is a great way to get students comfortable with sharing in front of the class, and it's also a fun way for you to learn more about your students.
Have each student choose an object from home to bring to virtual show and tell. It could be something as simple as a toy or family photo.
Then, have students take turns sharing their object with the class and telling a little bit about it.
Picture Zoom is a favorite!
To start, get a high-quality picture and zoom in really close. Share the picture with your students and let them guess the image. Keep zooming out until a student guesses right!
We love the idea of Picture Zoom for introducing a new chapter or topic of discussion.
We used to play a version of this online (not for school) and it always ended with the group in stitches.
In a sort of reverse Jeopardy, give your students a vocabulary word and ask everyone to give they're idea of the definition. After a designated amount of time, show all the answers and have the group vote on the one they think is right.
Whoever is closest to the right definition and those who guessed the right definition get a point!
We strongly suggest using Word Clouds for the voting portion of this game!
This is such a fun way to spice up a lesson or review for a test!
Then, instead of reading out numbers, read out the questions, answers, or topics you want students to find on their boards.
The first person to get bingo, wins!
Get everyone in your class involved with a combination story chain + what would you do.
Start a story with a made up scenario (even better if it's from your lesson). Start the story, then pick a student and ask "what would you do?”
Taking their answer, continue the story.
You can also boost class involvement by having everyone type in an answer and vote for their favorite choice on what to do.
Give your class a category, a letter, and a set amount of time. See how many answers each student can come up with for that specific letter. The student with the most unique answers (no other student gave that word) wins the game!
Give your class a questionnaire with the same number of questions as there are students in the class. Then, have your class fill out the questions.
Assign 1 answer to each student and present the question, plus the answer to the entire class. Then, let the class guess who gave the answer!
Of course, you don't want these to be too personal, so get creative in keeping these light and fun.
Let your students create a small presentation on a cultural aspect of their family. This can be as simple as showing on a map where their family originated or describing their favorite food. You can make this a photo show and tell or have student volunteers share a story about their culture.
A riff on the popular British TV show, Pointless makes the perfect game to play virtually with students.
To start, give your students a category (Name the Most Famous Bob). Then have students give their answers (e.g Sponge Bob, Bob Marley, or Bob the Builder). The winner is the person who gave the most obscure, but correct answer! (Hint: Bob Marley is always the most famous Bob)
This classic game is a great way to review parts of speech!
Write a short paragraph with blanks for different parts of speech (i.e noun, verb, adjective) and have students fill in the blanks.
Once everyone has had a chance to fill in the blanks, read the story aloud and enjoy the hilarity that ensues.