2 December 2011

Take a Challenge, Accept a Dare

For as long as I remember, stories and games have been part of my learning processes. Puzzles, worlds of make-belief, song, movement and colour all opened new windows of knowing. When I began teaching, I had no professional teacher training; but I did know how I did not want to teach and how I did not want to be a learner. And so began my love-affair with games in education, introducing games and challenges into my lessons, whether with board games, images, songs or dice. 

Today educational games are easy to access and offer challenges and different learning experiences. These are some which I find both entertaining and with interest beyond the classroom. 

Bite Club goes beyond classroom walls by raising financial awareness and how important it is to save money, especially after one has student loans.  

For more games on how to learn about personal finances, Financial Entertainment  offers learners other innovative games to play, while learning more about how to manage one's budget. 

Word Tamer dares you to reflect on your vocabulary as you play. But, the dare comes with a challenge: Word Tamer is no ordinary word game - Word Tamer helps you develop ideas for your creative writing. And what better way to focus on writing if you can play with words before?

WordShake is a great game which you can play at the end of class or anytime you want to test yourself. There is a board with letters, a timer and you gain points (or not) as you play. 

How many words can you make with the letters you see on the board? 

Instead of giving learners a crossword puzzle, why not have students create their own crossword puzzle to test each other? Crossword Puzzle Games is easy to use and can add fun when introducing a new theme or doing revisions at the end of a learning unit. 

Among the different approaches to learning vocabulary and platforms and tools available, Word Dynamo is another innovative way to strengthen learning autonomy by allowing you to create your own personalized word lists and games. 

You can use Word Dynamo for learning vocabulary but also other subjects as well as choosing the level you are interested in (e.g. Elementary, Middle or high School). 

As we are entering a major festive season, Foldplay helps create imaginative images which can be later cut up and made into a matching game with vocabulary. With four origami choices (cube, foldbook, kaleidocycle, squaring the hexagon), there is shape for everyone. 

And, if you still find these suggestions boring and bland....then let me offer a smile with Why Teachers Drink

What other words games have caught your imagination lately?

Additional educational games to explore:

Games iCivics - Citizenship & Participation and more

Nobelprize.org- Educational - Games & Simulations based on Nobel-Prize achievements

Spelloween - A Spelling Challenge

Pavement Images: Kurt Wenner's Asphalt Renaissance


  1. Ana,

    Am staggered with the wealth of resources here; truly awed. Thought I knew some stuff; gums flapping.

    Inspired & cowed low!


  2. Hi Jim,

    Thank you for visiting and for your kind words. I hope you have fun with what you find here and that you're students will enjoy them as much as my students have and other colleagues I have share with. :-)