I’m taking a little bit of a different spin on Teach it Tuesdays tonight. Instead of doing a lesson or activity I thought I would share some of my favourite games that I use for transitions – particularly when I’m subbing. I would love to hear what some of your favourite transition games/activities are as well so please leave us a comment if you have a “go to” game!
Do This, Do That
I always introduce this game by saying that it’s like Simon Says but faster and harder to keep up. I play it with grade 2 to grade 8 (I’m sure it would work for K/1’s too). Basically if I say “Do This” and touch my shoulders everyone has to touch their shoulders but if I say “Do That” they can’t do whatever I’m doing. It works wonders with a noisy classroom because they listen so intently to hear the instructions. I always do a few practice rounds and then elimination where they have to sit down when they are caught but they always get to keep playing from a sitting position.Variation – I’ve also used this as a line game while walking outside (two noisy for indoors) and if they get caught they go to the back of the line.
This is a middle school game for me with a class that you can trust to maintain a bit of control. Two people head out of the classroom (they will be blindfolded or back wards hoodie) to be “it” and everyone else finds a safe hiding place. In this hiding place they aren’t allowed to move from where they are, but they can duck/pivot/dodge the tag. I turn off the lights but leave a window uncovered so it has a good, quiet atmosphere. The blindfolded “it” students come in and have to feel their way around the classroom (my job is to make sure they don’t run into anything). If anyone gets tagged they head to the door (or carpet, blackboard, etc. where they can be “out” of the game but still watch). I usually set a time limit and see how many people can get tagged in that time. This is always a class favourite!
Steal the Keys
I always thought this was a primary game but my grade 8’s this year absolutely love it! One person sits on a chair/stool at the front of the room with a set of keys in front of them – they have to be good, jingling keys for it to work well. Students quietly raise their hands and I point to one person to be the key stealer. The person who’s it is blindfolded and has 3 “shots” (I pretend to give them a watergun and say they only have 3 squirts of water to avoid the gun noises) to try to catch the person who is stealing the keys. The key stealer has to try to sneak from their desk up to the front and grab the keys without getting shot directly at.
I use this game for French vocabulary usually but you can also use it with topics like “what I did this summer” and have kids put their hand up to come fill in words off the letters on the board. I usually say that everyone needs to write at least one word to make sure everyone is participating.
Using points or prizes I just ask random questions throughout the day and give out points/prizes. Favourite topics are facts about me (what’s my favourite colour, etc), basic facts, geography (capital cities, etc.)
And just for fun…