Just for Fun: Not so physical, but still fun!

These activities all serve as fun ways to get your students excited and re-energized, but do not require any physical action.  Most of these activities will not relate to the specific curriculum you are teaching, but still work well in the classroom, either to transition into a new unit, to reward the students, or to re-focus students, and get them re-interested in the course.

1. Call and Response: Call and Response stems from the African cultures and was brought to the United States during the era of slave trade.  Today call and response can still be seen in African-American culture, especially in music.  This is a good way to get kids fired up about any particular subject, just tailor the call and response to the subject matter you are discussing.

Example 1:

Call:  What do we want?

Response: Recess!

Call: When do we want it?

Response: Now!

Example2:

Call: Can I get a “Kid’s Court Rocks!”?

Response: Kid’s Court rocks!

Call: I said can I get a “Kid’s Court Rocks!”?

Response: Kid’s Court Rocks!

2.  Bonus Questions:  While executing lesson plans questions frequently arise.  Sometimes these questions may come from a teacher, or from a student in the class.  Whenever the question is interesting and pertinent to the subject matter, and the answer is not generally known by the participants try turning the question into a bonus question.  Tell the students to go home and research the answer, write the answer on a piece of paper, and bring it back to the next class session.  Depending upon your resources, every student who returns with a correct answer may get a prize, or place names of all of the students who gave the correct answer into a hat, and pull one out then reward that particular student with a prize.

Example 1:  During a lesson on the Constitution- Which was the first state to ratify the Constitution?

Example 2:  During a lesson on Civic Participation- What year did women gain the right to vote?

3.  Hink-Pinks: Pairs of rhyming words that match a silly definition.  These are fun vocabulary building exercises that can be found in the form of worksheets online at http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/brain-teasers.html.  These work well as a fun bonus activity when students finish their assignments early.  Rewarding the students who get the most correct with a prize can encourage the students to work more effectively and efficiently.

Example 1:

Clue- A black bird that doesn’t fly fast.

Answer- A slow crow.

Example 2:

Clue- Unhappy father.

Answer- A sad dad.

4.  Brainteasers (Rebus Puzzles): These are essentially little pictures, often made with letters and words, which cryptically represent a word, phrase, or saying.  These require logically thinking and critical evaluation by the students, they work well to give them a sense of how lawyers think as problem solvers.  Brainteasers also work well as a fun bonus activity when students finish their assignments early.  Rewarding the students who get the most correct with a prize can encourage the students to work more effectively and efficiently.  This page http://www.fun-with-words.com/rebus_puzzle_explain.html gives examples of the puzzles and explanations on how to solve them.  This http://www.fun-with-words.com/rebus_puzzles_01.html has 100 different puzzles.

5.  Partners:  Have your students go home and research famous duos, pairs whose names are always mentioned together.  After this task is assigned, each student should bring back a list of several of these pairs.  Students should be able to defend what makes each pair a famous duo.  After reviewing the student’s lists make a set of index cards with one of the partner’s name on one side of the card, and the corresponding partner on the backside.  This game is played as a speed game.  Break the students into two groups, and have the two groups line up parallel to one another in front of you, with one student at the front of each line.  The two students at the front of the line go first; read them the name on the front of the index card.  Each student should attempt to respond as quickly as they can with the name of the corresponding partner.  The student who responds first should go to the back of the line, and the other student should return to their seat.  In the event that both students get the card wrong, they can either both go to the end of line or both return to their seats.  If the students tie, give them another chance, as a tie breaker.  The game should continue in this manner until only one team has students left standing.  For a single winner, rearrange the lines to be even as students are eliminated, until only two students remain.  Again this game works well as a fun game with rewards at the end, and is easily adapted to fit the needs of any classroom.  Partners works best if it is played repeatedly over the course of the year.

Examples:

Batman and Robyn

Bonnie and Clyde

Timon and Pumba

6.  Arch-Enemies:  Have your students go home and research famous enemies, pairs who are famous for rivaling one another.  After this task is assigned, each student should bring back a list of several of these pairs.  Students should be able to defend what makes each pair arch enemies.  After reviewing the student’s lists make a set of index cards with one of the enemies’ name on one side of the card, and the corresponding rival on the backside.  This game is played a speed game.  Break the students into two groups, and have the two groups line up parallel to one another in front of you, with one student at the front of each line.  The two students at the front of the line go first; read them the name on the front of the index card.  Each student should attempt to respond as quickly as they can with the name of the corresponding enemy.  The student who responds first should go to the back of the line, and the other student should return to their seat.  In the event that both students get the card wrong, they can either both go to the end of line, or both could return to their seats.  If the students tie, give them another name, as a tie breaker.  The game should continue in this manner until only one team has students left standing.  For a single winner, rearrange the lines to be even as students are eliminated, until only two students remain.  Again this game works well as a fun game with rewards at the end, and is easily adapted to fit the needs of any classroom.  Arch- enemies works best if it is played repeatedly over the course of the year.

Examples:

Austin Powers and Dr. Evil

Cinderella and the Evil Stepmother

Dennis the Menace and Mr. Wilson

7.  Jeopardy Review Game: This game can be used as a review for any information.  Use this Powerpoint jeopardy game to create an interactive game that can be projected through the computer, or create a jeopardy game poster board (creating little pockets to hold the questions works well).   Split kids into three teams and have the teammates sit together.  Give each team a whiteboard or stack of papers and tell them to select a scribe then explain the rules of Jeopardy:

  • You may talk among your teammates about the answer, but make sure the other teams don’t hear you
  • You must give your answers in the form of questions
  • Each team will answer every question
  • The team that gets the question correct and is sitting quietly and respectfully will get to choose the next category
  • Teachers will keep track of how much money each team wins, teams are not penalized for wrong answers
  • There will be a prize at the end of Kid’s Court for the winning team

Materials: jeopardy board (either Powerpoint or poster board), whiteboard, or stack of paper, pencils