21 Online Classroom Games, Activities & Ideas

avatar
November 12, 2020

Hello! You found our list of online classroom games.

Online classroom games are fun activities that teachers can play with their students over the internet. For example, Digital Scavenger Hunts, Virtual Pictionary and Online Bingo. The purpose of these games is to educate and entertain students, which also helps build friendships. These activities are also known as remote classroom games.

Specifically, this list includes:

  • virtual classroom games
  • online classroom activities
  • fun ideas for remote students

And more.

Let’s get into it!

List of online classroom games

Competitions are a great motivator that gets people excited and invested in lessons. From creative challenges to debate-based matches, here is our list of online classroom games.

1. Digital Scavenger Hunt

Digital Scavenger Hunt is a game where the teacher compiles a list of items and activities that students complete by a given time. For an educational spin, teachers can match the items and activities to the lesson. For example, if you are a science teacher, consider adding simple experiments to the Digital Scavenger Hunt, such as putting Mentos in Diet Coke.

Here are some free virtual scavenger hunt templates.

2. Virtual Pictionary

Virtual Pictionary is an online version of the classic game, where one player illustrates a word, while teammates attempt to guess it. Split your class into two teams, and text the word to the illustrator using Zoom’s private chat feature. The illustrator can then use the video conference software’s screen share abilities to show their drawing, while the other team members guess. Teachers can use Virtual Pictionary to teach vocabulary, and develop creative skills.

3. Virtual Trivia

Virtual Trivia is a fun way to test your class’s knowledge on a particular topic. First, amass a list of trivia questions and answers. Then, divide the class into teams, who will compete to answer the most questions quickly and correctly. Virtual Trivia is a fantastic online classroom game because it is an exciting way to confirm whether your class retained the knowledge they need.

Check out this list of virtual trivia games to get started.

4. Virtual Musical Chairs

Sitting in front of your computer all day to attend class can be draining. However, teachers can get their class moving through Virtual Musical Chairs, which adapts the idea behind the in-person game for a remote class. To play, broadcast a song, and have your students get up and dance. Then, periodically shut off the music. Once the music stops, students should rush to sit down. The last person to get to their seat loses the round.

5. Ambassadors

For classes that miss Model UN, Ambassadors is an educational game where students act as ambassadors of a randomly assigned country. Great for geography classes, players describe their country with facts, as everyone else guesses what country they represent. The winner is the student who guesses the most countries correctly. After a few rounds, your students will learn all sorts of fun facts about nations of the world.

6. Summer Book Club

To keep your students occupied over the summer, enlist your reading class for Summer Book Club, an activity where students log the number and a brief summary of pages they have read. The winner of Summer Book Club is the student who reads the highest number of pages by the end of the summer. To make winning more appetizing, prepare rewards for the winner. Teachers can also compile a suggested reading list to keep students on track.

7. Geography Puzzles

Another game for geography class, Geography Puzzles tests your class’s knowledge of the world. Send students a blank copy of a world map. Then, ask students to fill out the map as completely and accurately as possible. To make Geography Puzzles a collaborative effort, teachers can also pair up students and reward the team that finishes filling out their map first.

8. Virtual Game Show

Virtual Game Show is an online version of the popular show Jeopardy, where students attempt to guess the answer to questions. Using this Jeopardy builder or Google Slide template, assemble your board. Then, split the class into teams and share your screen to display the board. The team that collects the most points by the end of the game wins. Teachers can use Virtual Game Show as a lively way to quiz the class’s familiarity with a variety of subjects.

Check out this resource on how to play team building Jeopardy.

9. Alphabet Chain

Alphabet Chain is a terrific online classroom game for expanding students’ vocabularies. To play, choose a category. Your students then name words that fit that topic, except that every proposed word needs to start with the last letter of the previous word. If a student is unable to think of another word, then they are out. The last student standing wins.

10. Class Limericks

Limericks are a whimsical poetry form with a specific rhythm. Class Limericks is a wonderful game for online English classes that asks students to compete to write the most amusing limerick. Teachers can choose a particular subject or let students choose what they would like to write about.

For help explaining limericks to students, here are some guidelines on how to write a limerick.

11. Virtual Show and Tell

Suitable for younger classes, Virtual Show and Tell is an online version of the classic classroom activity, where students share an item with everyone and explain its significance. Teachers can set a theme for your show and tell to help students decide what to bring. This online activity can be educational, and also bring the class closer as each session reveals more of your students.

12. Would You Rather

Would You Rather is a simple icebreaker that gets students talking. To play, compile a list of prompts. Then, open the online lesson by asking students what they would rather do.

Here are some examples of great Would You Rather questions:

  • Would you rather go back in time and experience the Revolutionary or Civil War?
  • Would you rather live without gravity or the laws of motion?
  • Would you rather go back to the dinosaur age or explore the depths of the ocean?
  • Would you rather be a character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein?
  • Would you rather go on a pilgrimage with the characters from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales or Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West?

Would You Rather gives students an opportunity to divulge more about themselves, and liven up discussions. Because these prompts rely on prior knowledge learned in class, teachers can use Would You Rather to check students’ retention of information as well.

Here is a list of this or that questions for inspiration.

13. Desert Island Intelligences

For teachers running an online psychology course, Desert Island Intelligences borrows from Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, which include:

  1. Visual-spatial
  2. Linguistic-verbal
  3. Interpersonal
  4. Intrapersonal
  5. Logical-mathematical
  6. Musical
  7. Body-kinesthetic
  8. Naturalistic

The premise of this activity is that a natural disaster strands eight people representing each intelligence on a desert island. Due to limited resources, the class must vote one person from the island each round by determining the intelligence’s value for survival. Teachers love Desert Island Intelligence because it adapts well virtually, and serves as a fun conversation starter.

14. Rube Goldberg Off

Rube Goldbergs are intricate machines that people program to complete a simple task. Rube Goldberg Off is a challenging online classroom game for science classes that asks students to compete to design the most inventive machine. Teachers can set the parameters of the activity by instructing students to create machines to complete a certain task.

15. Utilitarian Test

According to the University of Texas, utilitarianism is a philosophical concept that values the choice that brings the greatest amount of good to the group. Utilitarian Test is an online classroom activity, where students discuss the ethical nuances of famous utilitarian questions, such as the trolley problem, fat man, transplant surgeon, and Heinz dilemma. Teachers can use Utilitarian Test to get students to reveal the logic behind their decisions, and see if students truly understand the concepts.

Online instruction is a completely new experience than in-person lessons. To help bring your plans to the virtual classroom, here are some online classroom ideas to maintain your students’ productivity level, despite the distance.

16. Virtual Field Trips

A great way to have fun with an online classroom is to get out of the classroom. You can take your students on a virtual adventure of places like the Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu. Some locations of live facilitated options, while others are fully digital. Either way, virtual field trips provide an excellent and engaging learning opportunity for students.

Here is a list of the best virtual field trip ideas.

List of online classroom tips

Here are some tips to improve learning and engagement in online classrooms.

17. Use entrance and exit cards

When students and teachers are apart, it may be difficult to keep students on track. To help set the tone of your lesson, use entrance and exit cards at the beginning and end of class. These cards consist of questions regarding the lesson’s content. The entrance cards prep students for your lesson, while exit cards check comprehension.

18. Collaborate both synchronously and asynchronously

An important virtual classroom idea is that learning is not restricted to the time when your students are online. Students can collaborate synchronously, which is when they are all online at the same time, or asynchronously, which is when they are not necessarily online at the same time.

Examples of synchronous learning include:

  • Discussion in breakout rooms
  • Listening to the same lecture
  • Giving presentations together

Examples of asynchronous learning include:

  • Discussions in forums or message boards
  • Readings that students complete on their own
  • Pre-recorded video content that students view on their own

Using both of these methods helps enrich your students’ learning experience, and lets students continue thinking about the lesson, even after the class video call ends.

19. Break up your lesson into manageable chunks

When people are not in person and rely on video for connection, their attention span shortens. To prevent students from becoming disengaged in class, break up your lesson into manageable chunks. As a teacher, try to avoid speaking to students for extended periods because your students will become disengaged. Instead, pepper in activities or challenges throughout your lesson to encourage participation.

20. Check understanding with the chat feature

Another way to maintain student engagement is to periodically ask students to answer simple questions through the chat feature on the class’s video conferencing software. Teachers can use these questions to check comprehension among students, and see who is still actively listening to the lesson.

21. Think, pair, share

For teachers, think, pair, share may already be a familiar concept since it is a learning strategy that is used in in-person classes, too. However, with video conferencing software’s breakout rooms feature, teachers can capitalize on this characteristic by having students collaborate in small groups before sharing answers to discussion questions. Using think, pair, share in an online classroom maximizes participation and keeps students focused on the lesson.

Final Thoughts

Teaching online is a tough adjustment to make that requires teachers to think deeply about how to best adapt their methods for distance learning. With these online classroom games, activities, and ideas, you can take your lessons to the next level and increase student productivity.

Next, check out our list of online team building games for more fun ideas.

We also have a list of virtual birthday party ideas for when it is time to celebrate a students birthday.

FAQ: Online Classroom Games

Still stuck on how to engage your students virtually? Here are some frequently asked questions about online classroom games, activities and ideas.

What games can you play in a virtual classroom?

Adapting in-person games for a virtual setting is entirely possible with some resourcefulness. Some examples of games you can play virtually are the digital versions of scavenger hunts, Pictionary, trivia, and Jeopardy.

How do you make a virtual classroom fun?

To make a virtual classroom fun, break up your lesson into manageable chunks with exciting online classroom games and activities. By mixing things up, you prevent your class from becoming bored and disengaged.

What are the best virtual classroom activities?

The best virtual classroom activities are extensions of ideas you have already taught in class. By tying in your lesson to the activity, students can play, while also applying principles you taught them. This method leads to a better absorption of the lesson.

Share this article:

avatar
Author: Jessica Chen

Team building content expert. Jessica has a double major in English and Asian Studies, and experience working with teams across cultures; including 3+ years in Taiwan.

LinkedIn icon
benefits image 5

100% Online Team Building Activities

We run world class online team building events that remote teams love. Rated 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What We Do

what we do image

To be a little obvious, teambuilding.com is a team building company.

And a damn good one... we hire brilliant people, provide extensive training, and develop one of a kind experiences.

In 2020, we are running virtual events for teams all over the world.

And when there isn't a global pandemic, we do local activities too.