Most Social Studies classrooms and synonymous with heavy reading and content learning. They are seldom discussed in terms of play, fun, or interaction.
And that is sad!
So, Have You Found Your Game?Playing games is HISTORIC, and in the Social Studies classroom, has so many benefits. First, and most importantly, they can debunk the myth that Social Studies is boring! But, beyond settling myths, take a look at the many other great benefits:
- can be used to introduce, review, or assess content and student learning.
- allow all students to participate and remain involved in the learning process.
- encourage relaxed competition between students.
- can be utilized as an individual activity, for small groups, or between whole classes.
- motivate all levels of students to push themselves to higher expectations.
- help lower level students feel valuable in the classroom.
- reward higher level students for meeting their self-set learning goals.
That brings us to the next question: How can you bring games into your highly structured Social Studies classroom without lessening the rigor of your course?
Here are a few of my ideas:
- Play BINGO to introduce key terms or unit vocabulary.
- Use a Word Wall Game to record key terms, people or places.
- Play Pin the Flag on the Map or any other Map Locating Game to review locations.
- Toss a Globe to practice identifying countries of the world. (Inflatables at Dollar Tree!)
- Allow your students to create Game Boards to review any topic or content.
- Set up a Human Game Board in your classroom to review full units.
- Play classroom Jeopardy to review content. (Templates are online everywhere!)
- Assign pairs or small groups Matching Game activities to help students make connections.
- Play "I Am..." or "To Tell the Truth" to share significant people in history.
- Use Scavenger Hunts to encourage student research and investigation or for unit review!