Game techniques for use in classes 

Warming up, knowledge revision and other examples to help get some group interaction (a build trust between class members) in class.

The Mind

This is a card game where you work in a group of 2,3 or 4 to put down your cards in the correct order. You can see the original card game here.

Here’s a video on how to play:

The game itself is quite hard… (I was good but the people I played with were rubbish :P)

But the idea is simple and is great for anything that has an order.

I.e. Periodic table, important dates in history, even giving students more exposure to things by putting them in alphabetical order.

All you need to do is make cards with things in chronological order. Then deal them out to different players

The genius about the game is that the players can’t communicate with each other. They just need to get the cards down in the right order.

Making sure that there is always cards they do not have spices things up a little also 🙂

Which one doesn’t belong? 

  • Which word doesn’t belong? 
  • Which element doesn’t belong? 
  • Which number doesn’t belong? 
  • Which invention doesn’t belong? 
  • Which material doesn’t belong? 

When playing this game, the idea isn’t to have a particular correct answer. It is just to get students thinking and talking about how the examples are different.

A student, using their knowledge to describe the differences they see. Done right it puts students in control. It can also help teachers as an insight into how students are thinking.

I use pictures but it is open to other things.

Here is an example: 

Guess Who (or What) 

A guess who game edited with famous chairs

Groups of things that need to be memorized, put into a guess who board. 

  • Periodic table 
  • Furniture (style, design elements and principles) 
  • Industrial revolution inventions 

Who doesn’t love guess who? 

With the right topic this will show students how to group things. 

Size of the tiles is 50 x 29mm 

The con is that this is only two players although students could play in groups to work out strategy 

Wheel of Fortune

The classic TV game in your classroom. There are a few elements to this game. First the board

This is a copy of a Wheel of Fortune powerpoint I made. Setting it up took a while but now it’s straight forward to make a game.

This one was made in powerpoint with help from this YouTube video.

Second is the wheel. If you don’t have a physical wheel, you can try

  • Use a dice that students can throw. Maybe rolling a 1 is lose a turn or backrupt?
  • Use (two screens will help)
  • Don’t use a wheel. Although i think using a wheel builds the game up.


The classic game is now available for your subject! (After you make and print the cards yourself) 

This game has the potential to be a little more advanced than say guess who (which acts kind of like a multiple choice), students don’t have the answer.  

In groups, (4-ish) one has a card with the word that they want the other members of the group to say. They can’t say that word and they also can’t say a few other words which are on the card.  


Word you want the other people to say 

  • Steam Engine 

Words they can’t say in describing their word (Taboo list) 

  • Train 
  • Water 
  • Mechanical 

You can play around on the taboo list with including or excluding words that you want students to say. I am not sure which is best. 

Here is my thought process:

According to Wikipedia, Thomas Newcomen invented the steam engine.

You may want students to remember that so leaving it out of the card will get students to want to say it.

Putting it in the card will show the name to the student but they wont be able to say it so they may not see it as important as far as the game goes and that is the whole point. 

An example of a Taboo card I made. I want students to say time, cost, and labour so I have made other words they say ‘no-no’ words.

You keep score by guessing the word and also having someone guess the word. 

How to play Taboo video 

How to Play Taboo 


This one is tricky because you need to watch the potential answers. And you want to have an answer for each question. Although you can do this on the board and the whole class can join in, although it may be better in small groups. 

Here is a link to a Scattegories online game where you can adjust the settings


These techniques aren’t the ‘main meal’ of any class but they can help students communicate with each other which goes some way to building trust and creating the productive social classroom that many teachers tend to desire (my opinion).

I know I do have a thing for 90’s television shows. Some of them do provide great examples of engaging people. Remember the ‘cliff hangers’ on the price is right? I can see it potentially working in Maths… Maybe.

If you have any ideas i’d love to hear them. Please get in contact!


Here are some other online articles to look at that helped influence this post.