Virtual Games Your Middle School Students Will Actually Enjoy

Find ways to have fun and actually LAUGH with my students is a most. So, consider this a collection of the best “Fun Friday” activities the internet has blessed me with through this time of virtual teaching. If you’re like me and really working to power through March, try to sprinkle them in every now and then throughout the week. Play a couple minutes of YouTube games to start class or try out one acronym a day for students to guess. I promise, these games will “light up the chat” even in your quietest classes. In fact, sometimes you’ll realize a student you thought wasn’t even at their computer, is there and capable of participation!

YouTube Videos

These games have worked well for my students, but please make sure to preview them ahead of time to make sure you find them suitable for your students! (Try watching at 2.0x speed if you’re in a rush!)

  • Emoji Games (Playlist): Emoji combinations provide clues to the actual word! My students love playing and also making these! 
  • Guess the Gibberish (Playlist): Just like that fun Instagram filter–unrelated words/sounds give a hint to the actual word!
  • Memory Games: These visual memory tests are fun to play and apparently can also help train the brain!
  • Spot the Difference: A fun way to get students interacting and typing in the chat! This one is Among Us themed.
  • Odd Object Out: I ask students to describe (in the chat, privately) where they find it so that if they’re right, others still have a chance to find it! 
  • Guess the Logo: Determine which logo is the correct one!

Group Games

  • Virtual Bingo – exactly what it sounds like! There are a lot of directions, but it is easier than it looks!
  • JigsawPuzzles.io – A free website where you the teacher can create an account and host shared puzzle opportunities!
  • Finish the Drawing (Whiteboard.fi or Nearpod): Download these doodles I made to add as backgrounds for students to finish the drawing! The more time you give students, the more elaborate the drawings!
  • Skribbl.io – Kind of like group Pictionary! Note: Not all students were able to access it from their Chromebook, some were able to better join from another device
  • Taboo – Last year, my students kept their cameras on, so they would turn around and I’d share my screen for other students to see (I do preview all the ones we’ll play before we play, just in case!). Without cameras, you can send the target word and forbidden words to a student in the chat and challenge them to get other students to guess the target word!

Teacher Created Virtual Games

  • Finish My Word: Even though @adventures_in2nd made this for her students, my 8th graders had so much fun with this one! It also opened up the conversation to syllables and allowed others to be the ones giving clues too!
  • @HelloMrsHarwick‘s “Class Meeting Activities”: Watch her stories with this title for ideas and freebies! My 8th graders enjoyed 4 Corners and I LOVED their responses for “Guess the Acronym.” Sure some of them looked up the true meaning of the acronym, but their ideas were way funnier! I had them share in their answers on mentimeter, but they can easily be shared as a “waterfall chat” (Thanks @caffeinateandeducate!)
  • Jamboard Games (paid resource): These Jamboard templates from Sensational Teaching did not disappoint. Connect 4, Checkers, 4 Corners, and Tic-Tac-Toe! At the end of this month, I’m hoping to have a “March Madness” themed Connect Four tournament!

Other ideas...

My students are accustomed to the different types of games we play here and there. I’ve also given them an opportunity to choose what they wanted to do — breakout rooms with different activities, and also a class vote. The class vote consisted of Games, Hot Seat, and Talent Show. Different class periods voted differently, so I ended up doing all three one day.

  • Hot Seat–I let them ask me whatever question they wanted via a Google Form (I didn’t do this anonymously just in case the nature of their question required me to seek help for them–that has happened during in-person instruction, but thankfully handwriting helped me get them what they needed). The “Show Me a Picture of…” was also trending at the time, so I told them I’d scroll my camera roll.
  • Talent Show — This was a combination of a few students showcasing their singing or artwork, followed by Show and Tell by those that were feeling inspired.

Have Fun!

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