Showing posts with label Educational Games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Educational Games. Show all posts

Thursday, June 1, 2023

EconEdLink's Most Popular Economics Games of the Year

Over the years I've referenced hundreds of EconEdLink's resources for teachers. That's because EconEdLink is a great resource for any teacher who needs ideas, lesson plans, games, and other resources for teaching economics lessons. On the site you'll find resources for everything from teaching basic personal finance lessons to elementary students through resources for teaching macro economic theory to high school students. 

This week EconEdLink published a list (via their newsletter) of their most popular economics games of the 2022-2023 school year. That list included a game for elementary school students, a game for middle school students, and a game for high school students. Those games are listed below.

Elementary School: Goods and Services Lightning Round

In this game students have to identify and sort items according to whether they represent a good or a service. 

Middle School: Taxes Tic Tac Toe

This game requires students to answer questions about types of taxes. When they answer correctly students can mark an X or an O on the Tic Tac Toe board. 

High School: The Money Multiplier and the Gigantic $100,000 Bill 

This is a game that teaches students how money supply is created and managed through the Federal Reserve system. 

Compound Interest Calculator

The Compound Interest Calculator is the most popular resource on EconEdLink. It does exactly what the name states. Students enter age, interest rate, initial investment, and monthly savings to see how much they'll save and earn over time. There are lots of tools like this one on the web. The nice thing about this one is that it's not surrounded by a zillion ads for mortgages and investment brokers.

On a related note, Common Craft has a great video that explains compound interest. If you have a subscription to Common Craft you can access the video for classroom use and access the accompanying lesson resources. 

Disclosure: I have a long-standing in-kind relationship with Common Craft.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Play Your Dates Right - A History Timeline Game has many great online game templates for history teachers to use. Play Your Dates Right is one of the templates that I like to use to create a game that is focused on helping students recall the sequence of historical events. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create a simple timeline-based game with the Play Your Dates Right template from

Applications for Education
I've always stressed to my history students the importance of sequence. Play Your Dates Right could be a fun way for students to review the sequence of events in a unit of study. An obvious case use is in reviewing the causes of the outbreak of a war.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Fun Games for Learning About Space

NASA Kids' Club is a collection games, interactive activities, and images for students in Kindergarten through fourth grade. At the center of the NASA Kids' Club is a set of games and interactive activities arranged on five skill levels. The activities range from simple things like guessing numbers in "Airplane High Low" to more difficult tasks like identifying planets based on some clues provided in prompts in "Go to the Head of the Solar System."

Applications for Education
NASA Kids' Club offers a teachers' section in which each of the Kids' Club activities is outlined with alignment to NCTM and Common Core standards.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

How to Create Your Own Online Connecto Game

Connecto is one of the many online game creation templates that Flippity offers. Flippity calls it Connecto, but the style of game is exactly like the classic Connect 4 board game (I'm sure that for trademark reasons Flippity can't use that name for their Connecto game template). 

In a Connecto game students see a question and have to answer it correctly in order to get marker on the board. The object of the game is to connect four markers in a row before your opponent does. Of course, there is also a bit of strategy involved in where you place your markers to connect your own while blocking your opponent from connecting theirs. Watch my new video that is embedded below to see how Connecto is played and how you can create your own with Flippity's free Google Sheets template. 

Video - How to Create Your Own Online Connecto Game

Applications for Education
You could create a Connecto game to have your students play in teams as a fun review exercise before a test or quiz. You might also consider having your students make the games themselves and challenge each other. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

How to Create Your Own Online Memory Games

A few years ago one of my students created a memory game app with the MIT App Inventor. It was a great exercise through which she learned about all of the variables and parts of the app that need to be designed. If you're a little more pressed for time than my student was and you just want to quickly generate some matching games for your students to play, there are easier methods than programming your own app.

Matching Game is one of the many Google Sheets templates that Flippity offers. Like all Flippity templates you can make a copy of the template, modify it by adding your own words or terms, and then clicking the activity URL provided by Flippity. Try a sample Flippity Matching Game here and get the template here. Watch my new video that is embedded below for guidance on using the templates. 

Educandy is a game builder that offers a handful of online game creation templates. One of those is a matching or memory game template. To use the template you simply provide a list of words or terms and Educandy does the rest. Your game will be assigned its own URL that you can distribute to your students. Watch this video to see how Educandy works.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Three Tools for Building Your Own Online Games That Aren't Kahoot-like

Earlier today I fielded a question from a reader who was looking for some suggestions for tools he could use to create some online games for his students to play. Specifically, he was looking for some alternatives to the typical suggestions of Kahoot, Quizizz, and Gimkit. There are a lot of options that I could have shared, but there were three that immediately came to my mind. 

TinyTap is an app and website that I've been using and recommending since its initial launch nearly a decade ago. On the TinyTap platform you can create a variety of educational games for your students to play on their iPads or in the web browser on any computer. I wrote a long series of tutorials on TinyTap last year. My favorite of those was this one in which I explained how to create a game that students talk to. Watch this video for an overview of how to get started making your first game on TinyTap. 

Educandy is a service for creating simple vocabulary games and multiple choice trivia games. A convenient aspect of the service is that once you've created a list of vocabulary words it will automatically be applied to multiple game formats for you. In other words, write one word list and you'll get three games that your students can play. Your students can play the games without needing to create an account on the Educandy site. In the following video I provide an overview of how you can create games on Educandy and how your students can access your games.

Flippity has long been one of my go-to recommendations for anyone looking to make games, flashcards, and timelines with Google Sheets. Flippity's board game template lets you create a game that includes up to eight players, has up to three dice to roll, and interactive game squares. You game can also include videos, pictures, Google Drawings, and graphs. And your students can play your game without an email address or having to create any kind of online account. Take a look at my short video below to see how you can create and play your own online board game.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Physical Phonics Games

I have been a fan of the online learning game called Teach Your Monster to Read for many years. The game is designed to help students improve the speed and accuracy with which they recognize letters and sounds. The game gets its name from the friendly monster avatars that students use in the game. Teach Your Monster to Read also offers three fun phonics games to be played offline.

The Teach Your Monster to Read physical phonics games are designed to help students increase the speed with which they recognize sounds and letters while at the same time getting them moving about your classroom, gymnasium, or playground. Currently, three phonics games are available through the Teach Your Monster to Read website. In all three games students use large grapheme flashcards that students have to properly identify and place in proper sequences.

In Pirates and Sailors students have to match the grapheme cards to objects whose name begins with the grapheme on their cards. In the Pass the Sound game students participate in a relay race of sharing corresponding grapheme cards. And in the Find My Family Sound game students have to find classmates who have drawn the same grapheme card without showing anyone what is written on their cards.

Applications for Education
Playing the Teach Your Monster to Read phonics games could be a fun way to review what your students may have learned while playing the online version of Teach Your Monster to Read.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Create a Snowman Word Game

Earlier today when I picked up my daughter from preschool she proudly showed me the snowman artwork that she had made during art class. A picture of her artwork is the featured image of this blog post. 

Seeing my daughter's snowman art reminded me of the snowman word game template offered by Flippity. Flippity's Snowman word game is a game in which students have to correctly guess the letters of a word in order to prevent their snowmen from melting. The template lets you make your own variation on the game with words and hints of your choosing. Your game can be shared with students via its assigned URL. Students don't need accounts in order to play the games that you create. Here's an overview of how to create your own online word games by using Flippity's Snowman template

Monday, January 9, 2023

Students Can Create Their Own Video Games With Construct 3

Construct 3 is a video game creation platform that students can use to develop their own games. The games students can create with Construct 3 aren't simple quiz-based games like many other platforms offer. Instead Construct 3 offers students an opportunity to create games that might remind you of some classic video games like Mario Brothers, Zelda, or Space Invaders.

Construct 3 uses a visual programming language and a drag-and-drop interface. Students don't need to have prior programming knowledge in order to create a game with Construct 3. That's partly due to the nature of the Construct 3's game development environment and partly due to the excellent tutorial that students are guided through the first time they try Construct 3. Construct 3 also offers many game templates that students can copy and modify to suit their needs.

Games that students create on Construct 3 can be played online and can be played offline. Likewise, the Construct 3 game development environment can be used online or offline.
Applications for Education
Beyond the obvious fun factor of students making their own games, there are a couple of aspects of Construct 3 that make it appealing for classroom use. First, the visual drag-and-drop nature of Construct 3 makes it accessible to students who don't have prior programming experience. Creating a game can be a could introduction to some important programming and game development concepts. Second, for students who do have some prior programming experience, Construct 3 does include options for development via Javascript while still being able to refer back to the comfort of a block interface.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Best of 2022 - Game Templates in Canva

As I do at this time every year, I'm taking the week off to ski and play with my kids, shovel snow, and generally not think about work. I have some of the most popular posts of the year scheduled to republish this week. New posts will resume in the new year. 

Last week I was recording a demo of how to use existing slides to make video lessons when I came across a neat slide template in Canva. That template was for a game called This or That. The game is a simple icebreaker type of game that gets people talking to each other. The reason I mention it is that there's a whole category of similar game templates available in Canva. Watch my short video below for a little demo of the This or That game template. 

Applications for Education
If you're looking to make some simple trivia games or icebreaker games to play in your classroom or at your next staff meeting, take a look through the game presentation templates in Canva for a little inspiration.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

How to Create an Image Revealing Effect in Google Slides

About a week ago a reader reached to me to ask for a suggestion on how to create an image revealing effect without the use of proprietary interactive whiteboard software. My first thought was to give TinyTap a try because that platform does include a feature called "Houdini Mode" that can be used to hide or reveal things with just one tap. A tutorial on how that works can be seen here.

After giving it more thought, I realized that you can create image revealing effects by using the transition and animation settings in Google Slides. Basically, you layer one image over another and then arrange the transitions and animations so that the top image disappears when you click on your slides. I recorded a short video about how to do that. The video is embedded below. 

Video - How to Create an Image Revealing Effect in Google Slides

Applications for Education
As I mentioned in the video, using the image revealing effect could be a good way to create a series of quiz game slides. On each slide you can have a question for which the answer is hidden until you click on the slide to reveal the answer. That could be a fun way to host to an in-classroom review game that is kind of like Jeopardy.

Monday, November 14, 2022

An Overview of Five Fun Geography Games for Students

Today is the first day of Geography Awareness Week. In the following videos I provide an overview of five map-based geography games that your students can play this week or any other time they need to practice identifying places around the world. All five games are featured in this compilation video. Read on for descriptions of each game. 

Worldle Daily is a combination of the Wordle concept and Google Street View imagery. The game is played by looking at a featured Street View image then trying to guess, by clicking on a map, where in the world that image was captured. After each guess you're shown how far away you are from being correct. A circle covering the area in which the image was taken is also displayed after each guess. As you get closer, the circle gets smaller until you either use up all of your guesses or guess correctly. 

Here's my short video overview of how to play Worldle Daily. 

Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego? is one of many games that you can play in the web, Android, and iOS versions of Google Earth. If you go into the Voyager mode in Google Earth you will find other games and quizzes to try. The quizzes are neat because when you answer a question correctly you automatically zoom to the Street View imagery of the location. Check it out in this short video.

Geo Artwork from Google Arts & Culture is a game in which you view an image of an artwork and then have to guess where in the world that artwork belongs. There are categories for visual arts, sculpture, textiles, books, and places. The places category is based on Google Street View imagery of places associated with or featuring an art work. Watch my short video to learn how to play Geo Artwork.

GeoGeek AR is a fun app for testing and developing your knowledge of world geography. As its name and icon imply, the app uses augmented reality to put a virtual globe in any space that you choose. You can spin the globe with your fingers or simply move around the room to see different parts of the globe. Watch this short demo video to see how the app works. Watch to the end of the video for a special guest appearance by one of my dogs.

Geoquiz History Edition is a fun and challenging map game for history buffs. The game works like similar geography games in which you're given the name of a place and have to place a marker on a blank outline map as close as possible to the actual location. In Geoquiz History Edition you're given the name of a battle or the name of historically significant landmark. The War Battle edition of the game lists battles from wars all over the world throughout history. The Heritage edition of the game lists historically significant places in the heritage of a country or culture. Watch my short video that is embedded below to see how to play GeoQuiz History Edition. 

Saturday, November 5, 2022

GeoQuiz History Edition - A Fun and Challenging Geography Game

The start of Geography Awareness Week is nine days away. It's probably my favorite academically-themed week of the year. (Yes, that's my social studies teacher background coming through). Over the next week or so I'll be sharing a bunch of great resources for teaching and learning about geography. To start things off I have a fun and challenging game for history students. 

Geoquiz History Edition is a fun and challenging map game for history buffs. The game works like similar geography games in which you're given the name of a place and have to place a marker on a blank outline map as close as possible to the actual location. In Geoquiz History Edition you're given the name of a battle or the name of historically significant landmark. The War Battle edition of the game lists battles from wars all over the world throughout history. The Heritage edition of the game lists historically significant places in the heritage of a country or culture.

Geoquiz History Edition is played without the need to register or sign into any kind of account. Each round of the game contains ten prompts. You're given immediate feedback as to how accurate your guess was. That feedback comes in the form of a line drawn from your placemarker to the correct placemarker.

Watch my short video that is embedded below to see how to play GeoQuiz History Edition. 

Applications for Education
Geoquiz History Edition doesn't have categories so all prompts are completely randomly selected from locations all over the globe. For that reason the game is probably best used as a way to spark interest in learning more about the places that appear in the game.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

One Last Round-up of Halloween Resources

As my daughters have reminded me about 1,000 times in the last week, tomorrow is Halloween. If you have elementary school students who are equally excited about Halloween and you want to include a little Halloween-themed activity into your day tomorrow, take a look through this round-up of resources that I've previously shared throughout the month. 

How to Catch Monsters is a free play script published by Playbooks Reader's Theater. The play was written to be performed by students in first through third grade. The play centers around two children who are trying to catch blue, green, and purple monsters. The children do get a little help from their work-from-home dad. In all there are six roles for students to play. There is also a narrator role for a teacher to play in How to Catch Monsters. The How to Catch Monsters script is color coded to make it a little easier for students to follow. The script also includes some cues and other notes to help students perform the play.

Playing Kahoot games is a fun way to review almost anything including Halloween safety. That's why a few years ago I made the following video to demonstrate how to find and modify Halloween safety games in Kahoot. 

OPEN Phys Ed has a collection of more than a dozen Halloween-themed lesson plans for physical education classes. The collection is titled Pumpkin Patch Games and you can access all of them as PDFs and or Word files. Like all of the OPEN Phys Ed resources that I've reviewed over the last few years, the Pumpkin Patch Games are designed to be as inclusive as possible. The games aren't your "traditional" ball-sports type of games that make some kids loathe physical education classes. A few of the games students might enjoy include Silly Spooky Storytime (my older daughter would love that one), Monster Mash, and Pickles in the Pumpkin Patch.  In addition to directions for each of the dozen+ games in Pumpkin Patch Games, OPEN provides music playlists that you might want to use while kids are playing the various games in your gym.

ReadWorks offers a collection of Halloween-themed articles for a  K-8 audience and a few for 9-12. The articles covered topics like the history of Halloween, pumpkin farms, and the history of ghost stories. Like all ReadWorks articles, you'll find comprehension questions and vocabulary sets to accompany the articles. A read aloud feature is also available in ReadWorks.

SciShow Kids has a playlist of videos covering topics that are frequently connected to symbols of Halloween. Those topics are bats, spiders, skeletons, and the changing colors of leaves. In the video about bats students learn how bats use sound to find their way at night, how and why bats hang upside down, and how they rear their offspring. In the video on spiders students learn about the role of spiders in controlling flying insect populations and how spiders create webs. In the video about the human skeleton students can learn about the functions of the skeleton as well as how bones grow and heal over time. Finally, in the video on leaves students learn about the correlation between chlorophyll, sunlight, and leaf color.

PBS Learning Media has a collection of Halloween-themed lessons for elementary school students. One of the those lessons is all about the historical traditions that contributed to the creation of Halloween. The materials for this lesson include a short video, video discussion questions, and a vocabulary sheet. All of the items in PBS Learning Media's Halloween collection can be shared to Google Classroom where you can add questions for students answer after watching the videos.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Trick O' Treat Safety Review Games

Halloween is just eight days away. If you're an elementary school teacher, you might be planning to do some trick o' treating safety reviews with your students. Playing Kahoot games is a fun way to review almost anything including Halloween safety. That's why a few years ago I made the following video to demonstrate how to find and modify Halloween safety games in Kahoot. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

The Descent of the Serpent - A New Google Arts and Culture Game

This week Google Arts and Culture released a new game for students. The game is called The Descent of the Serpent and it's available to play in your web browser or in the Google Arts and Culture apps for Android and iOS. 

The Descent of the Serpent is a game through which students can learn about civilizations of ancient Mesoamerica. Students play the game from the perspective of one of four characters representative of mythological figures in Mesoamerican culture. Students then navigate through four levels of the game in a quest to find and recover twenty lost objects and return them to Chichen Itza before the solar equinox. 

The game play of The Descent of the Serpent is a little reminiscent of Legend of Zelda (yes, I realize that's a reference point that dates me as a late Gen-Xer). Players navigate through scenes while trying to dodge obstacles and objects in their quest to find the missing artifacts. When players find an artifact they are shown a little bit of information about its history and significance. 

The Descent of the Serpent can be played in story mode or in challenge mode. The story mode allows players to keep playing regardless of how many times they hit a dead-end or get hit by an object. The challenge mode gives players just five "lives" before they lose the game and have to start over. 

Applications for Education

I played The Descent of the Serpent for about 15 minutes this morning then had to force myself to stop because I could have easily gone down a rabbit hole of playing it for much longer (note, I'm not skillful when it comes playing video games in general). I found the little pop-ups of information after finding each artifact interesting. That said, I look at the game as a fun way to introduce students to ancient Mesoamerican history and not as a replacement for complete lessons.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Turn Any Quiz Into a Game With Quizalize Games

Disclosure: Quizalize is an advertiser on

Last week I published a blog post about the new games feature of Quizalize. That feature enables you to take any quiz that you've written or any of the premade quizzes in Quizalize and turn it into one of six arcade-style games for your students to play individually or in teams. The video demo that I initially made for that blog post didn't come out quite as well as I would have liked. So this morning I created a new version of it. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to use the new Quizalize games feature. Specifically, I demonstrate the teacher and student perspectives of playing the Kleo the Koala game in team format. The quiz that I used to create the game is an icebreaker quiz that Quizalize provides in all teacher accounts. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Quizalize Games - Turn Any Quiz Into an Epic Game

Disclosure: Quizalize is an advertiser on

Quizalize is a great teaching tool that I’ve used and written about since 2015 when it differentiated itself from the market by being the first classroom quiz game tool that offered an option to have your students play your quiz game as an in-classroom group activity or at-home activity. Today, Quizalize launched another new feature that is useful, exciting, and different from what other classroom quiz platforms offer. That new feature is called Quizalize Games. Quizalize Games let you take any of your quizzes and quickly turn them into video games!

Quizalize now offers six games in addition to the standard quiz game format. Those games are The Adventures of Kleo the Koala, Battlerzz, Bearzz, Hoopzz, First to the Flag, and Rockzz. The games follow the format of some classic arcade games like Zelda and Asteroids. You can preview the games here. All of the games are available to all teachers who have a free Quizalize account. By the way, if you haven’t signed into your Quizalize account in a while, you’ll also find an updated icebreaker game available to you.

The new Quizalize games can be played in single player mode, player vs. player mode, team vs. team mode, and classroom vs. computer mode.

Any Quiz Can Become a Quizalize Game
Creating a game in Quizalize has never been easier. The best part is that one quiz can be used to create all of the games. In other words, one quiz can become six different games!

To create a game in Quizalize sign into your free account. Then either choose one of your existing quizzes or create a new one. Once you have chosen a quiz you then assign it as an activity for your class. Finally, just before giving the activity to your students you select the game format that you want to use. See my screenshot below for an example of what you’d see just before giving your students a Quizalize game to play.
After choosing your game you’ll see a game code appear on your screen. Give students that code so that they can join the game. Alternatively, you can use the “magic link” option to give your students a link to click and join the game (that’s a convenient option for joining via Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, or another LMS).
Watch or Play a Game Preview
You can preview all of the new games by watching the promotional videos on this page. You can also play previews of the games on that same page or by signing into your Quizalize account and clicking on the “play as a student” button that appears below every quiz.

Fun Games and Great Feedback!
The new Quizalize games add an additional element of fun to review activities. And as the games are based on the quizzes that you choose or create in your account, you can get a lot of information about your students’ knowledge and skills. Likewise, you can provide your students with some great feedback about their knowledge and skills.

When setting up a game in Quizalize you have options to give students immediate feedback on more than just whether they answered correctly. You can also provide them with video tutorials, PDFs, and links to websites to help them understand where they went wrong in answering the questions. You can set score ranges that determine which resources students see and whether they even see them at all. For example, if a student scores below 50% you can give them one set of resources while a student who scores between 50% and 75% will see a different set of resources.

Even if your students play the Quizalize games in team mode, you can still see how they did individually. The simplest way to do that is to download the spreadsheet of results that Quizalize provides. Other options include allowing Quizalize to group students according to scores and seeing which questions proved to be the most difficult. You can use that information yourself or turn on the differentiation mode in Quizalize that allows you to assign follow-up tasks to students based on their scores.

Bonus Characters!
If you already have a Quizalize account, you probably went and tried the new games before you got this far in this blog post. But just in case you need a little more incentive to try the games, you can get a bonus character for the new Battlerz game when you share the news about Quizalize games with your friends. Just head here to do that.

Get Started!
All of the existing features of Quizalize are still intact. The new games just build upon those features and provide a new element of fun for students. Watch the demo video below to learn more about the new Quizalize games!

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Learning How to Tell Time on Analog Clocks and Watches

My oldest daughter got a little analog wristwatch for her birthday a few days ago. So far she loves wearing it (she wanted to wear it to bed last night) and is rather quickly learning how to tell time with it. As you might expect, the watch has prompted a few questions including "how does it work?" If you students or children of your own who need to learn how to tell time on an analog watch, here are a couple of good resources to explore. 

ABCya offers a free game called the Time Travel Game that is designed to help student practice telling time. The concept of the game is that students are given a prompt like "set the clock to 4am" and they have to move the hands of the clock to the correct position. Each level of the game contains ten prompts. A little rocket ship is launched when they correctly answer the ten prompts on a level. I played the game this morning and I would highly recommend that students either play it on a touch screen or use a mouse rather than a trackpad to move the hands of the clock in the game. 

What Time Is It? is an activity book template available from Canva. The template has ten pages. Each page has a clock on it and a prompt like "it's eleven." Students have to draw in the hands of the clock to match the prompt on the page. As this is a Canva template, you can make a copy and modify it for your students' needs. 

Animagraffs has a popular video that explains how a mechanical watch works. The animations combined with the voiceover make it easy to understand how the parts of a watch work together to keep time. 

Monday, August 1, 2022

Elinor's Nature Adventure and Hands-on Learning Activities

As I mentioned last week, my daughters have started to enjoy Elinor Wonders Why on PBS Kids. While they were watching an episode this morning I went on the PBS Kids website to search for some Elinor-themed learning activities. I wasn't disappointed with what I found. 

The parents page for Elinor Wonders Why is full of resources for activities for parents do with their children. Of course, the resources are also great for elementary school teachers who are looking for some hands-on activities. On the parents page you'll find directions for making Elinor-themed finger puppets, placemats, mini-libraries, costumes, and many other craft projects. You'll also find directions and templates for creating investigative activities like identifying insects and sorting "treasures" found in nature. 

PBS Kids also offers some online games for kids to play and learn from. Those games include the investigative style games Elinor's Nature Adventure, Pond Life, and Backyard Life. There are seven games in all. All of the games can be played without having to sign-up or sign into any kind of account. The games I tested worked equally well in the web browser on my laptop and on my iPad. 

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