As we get closer to the end of the year, it’s normal to be feeling a bit of information overload. Whether you’re preparing students for a test or just looking to reinforce concepts you’ve taught throughout the year, reviewing can feel daunting. My favorite way to make this experience more enjoyable is to incorporate games!
Not only do games provide a break from traditional review lessons or note-taking sessions, but they also encourage active participation from students, which supports retention. Incorporating games into your review can take creativity and planning, but I’m going to give you some ideas for using science games that are fun and don’t require a ton of planning.
Tips for Playing Games in the Classroom
Lots of teachers hesitate to use science games that are fun because they worry students will be jumping off the walls! Honestly, it’s possible without the right expectations in place.
Here are some tips for bringing games into your classroom without the chaos.
#1 Set students up for success. This means setting clear expectations, having the right supplies, and grouping students in a way that is beneficial for everyone (think abilities and behavior). This will look different for every class of kids, but make sure to take a few minutes before the game to think through the best way to set your students up for success.
#2 Encourage teamwork. Nothing sucks more than being the only person in a group that is participating. One of the best things about using science games in the classroom is that it provides an opportunity for students to collaborate. To make sure that everyone student is involved, I like to create smaller groups or have students work in pairs.
#3 Have fun. Choose science games that are fun for students! Also, keep things fresh by trying different games, switching groups, or even taking games outside when possible.
Science Games for Review
5th Grade Science Review Games
The good news is that you don’t have to create your own science games that are fun or spend hours searching the internet. You can grab a done-for-you 5th Grade Science Games bundle!
This resource is low-prep, and your students will have a blast playing together. Within the resource, you’ll find 20 science review board games. The games cover different topics, including life science, physical science, and Earth and space science.
When you download this resource, you’ll find printable game boards and instructions for each game. You’ll need a few materials, like dice or spinner, and game pieces, such as mini-erasers, manipulatives, paper clips, etc. Really, anything you have lying around the classroom!
Technology is a convenient way to play science games that are fun. Kahoot is one of my favorite platforms to use for this, but there are other options as well, like Gimkit and Blooket.
The great part about digital games is you rarely have to start from scratch. There are many pre-made games already available, so you can use those or edit them to create your own version.
This makes it super easy to hop on and find science games that cover the topics you want to review. Digital games are great for reviewing basic concepts and vocabulary that you’ve taught throughout the year, and you can easily play when you have a few minutes to spare in class.
This classic game can turn any boring review into a science game that is fun! You can use task cards or any sort of multiple choice material to play four corners and get students out of their seats. To play, label each corner of your classroom with A, B, C, and D. Then, display a question on your board (or give students a hand-out) and have students stand near the corner that represents the correct answer.
You’ll have some students “follow the crowd” with four corners, so I like to switch it up. Ask students to stand in the corner they know is incorrect and then explain why. You can also assign a few secret “fibbers” to stand near the wrong answer, just to make the group think a little harder!
Charades is another major hit, and you can add it to your list of easy science games that are fun. Work with the class to create a list of science concepts or terms to review and write them on slips of paper. Then, split the class into teams and call up one person from each group. They will select a term and then act it out.
Be prepared for lots of laughter with this game! It’s a really fun and memorable way to review some basic science concepts. If you have a class of more shy students, they can act out the terms with a partner.
Science Scavenger Hunt
Last on the list of science games that are fun is a scavenger hunt. To play, hide clues around the classroom related to a topic. For example, you could hide a card that reads, “I am a gas that we breathe in every day. Find me in a tank labeled ‘O2.’ Without me, we wouldn’t survive.” When they find a card, have students record their answers.
Then, at the end of the hunt, review the answers with the class to make sure everyone was on the right track!
Getting creative and playing science games that are fun is a fantastic way to spice up your end of the year science review! If you’re looking for more science activities, check out this post about how to plan for hands-on science activities in your classroom.