Updated: Aug 12
Just because you’re in a virtual classroom does not mean that you can’t have a fun game-centered classroom. There’s a ton of games you can still play in a virtual classroom that are incredibly fun, yet content-rich activities.
Class Craft for the Virtual Classroom
To begin with, one of the easiest ways to add fun virtual games and activities for your students is Class Craft. Indeed this platform is already completely virtual. Students can also personalize avatars. As a result, this makes it easy to integrate classroom assignments to the game.
Markedly, the best part about Class Craft is that the games are already set up for you. All you have to do is plug in your assignments, and wallah! Now, students can play games while they are completing their assignments, so class Craft becomes the motivator.
Although these games are mostly text-based which requires students to read the content to follow the game. For that reason, not all students will want to read these extra texts. However, you can bring these episodes to life in your virtual class. On this occasion, allow students to earn extra bonus points for re-enacting levels or full episodes.
Spice up Class Craft for Virtual Classrooms
For example, in the first level of Class Craft (season 1 episode 1) the characters must save a sprit locked away in a tower. As soon as students complete the regular assignments, give them bonus points for various activities. Coming up with little dialogue exchanges or performing a skit based on the characters, for example.
Another thing, students can share their skits on a discussion board, or Padlet throughout the week. In addition, think about awarding a winner each week. As stated before, award bonus points or gold can be given to the best “team” or individual person who shows the most creativity.
Giving students a chance to have fun and be silly can help build positive moral in the virtual classroom, and boost overall participation.
Fun Activities for K-12 English Language Arts and History in the Virtual Classroom
Host Themed Literary Circles or Discussion Circles
So, imagine a little virtual party where your students can sit at their computer, feeling included and engaged with low pressure for “correctness”. This, undoubtedly brings a smile to my mind, and the students love it even more.
For example you might have a Pizza Part (Elementary or Middle School). Of course for older kids you might have a Coffee House theme party. For instance, each student comes to the virtual classroom with a cup of “coffee” (or their favorite drink) and a favorite book.
In addition to drinks, play some whimsical music in the background to set the mood, and model participation by sharing your own favorite book first. To increase student interest you could even open up the discussion to allow favorite video games, movies, or TV shows also. Once the conversation starts, it will take off. You may even find yourself setting breakout groups so you kids can keep the conversations going!
Other topics for Discussion Circles for Virtual Classes:
On the whole, the main use for themed discussions is to build relationships among peers in the virtual setting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add curriculum. Even though students do not always need to talk about books, or literature. For instance, topics can include video games, politics, sporting events, favorite pop culture, music, after school activities, hobbies, life goals, or even social emotional skills.
Engaging Students has never looked so hard.
Fun Activities for K-12 Science in the Virtual Classroom
There are so many fun activities that can be done in the Science classroom! But how can students experience that fun in the virtual classroom? On the condition that not all students have the tools or resources to conduct experiments at home, it becomes hard to request students to complete experiments. But here are some great experiments that can be done with typical items found in the house!
Science Experiments for Home
Another option to increase student engagement in the virtual class is to have students can create videos of themselves doing these experiments and then to share it on your Classroom discussion board, or Flipgrid.
Scientific Research and Discovery
Additionally, students can create fake Tik Tok, Instagram, or Twitter pages using Google slides. Students are “tweeting” or “posting” about scientific articles they read, sharing a video or image that is science related, or posting a quick presentation on the topic that week.
Get Creative and PLAY
Now that students are surrounded by technology, give students an opportunity to show off what they create for class. For instance, students can dress as an element of their choosing and explain how they represent that element. Then you can award the most creatively dressed students with digital prizes.
Another way to get students excited in the virtual classroom is to have students create something. But be sure to give them a chance to share! Here are some Great Options for the virtual classroom:
A diorama of an ecosystem to share and discuss
A poster or 3D model about an element of space they did not already know about.
A pet or stuffed animal and discuss the anatomy of their pet or proper diet for that pet. (or animal if it were real).
Discuss their favorite chemical reactions and why they find them fascinating.
Community Work (Safely!)
Lastly, the final two options for science include community projects. More specifically, task students with a community support project. For example, have them create posters on the importance of masks. How and why they are effective? After that, see if you can hang them up in the school or at local businesses.
Conversely, you could allow students the opportunity to think about a community project they would want to participate in. Then have them complete research, and share with the class. Then, with parental consent have students record their efforts to share with each other as they each make a difference. Some students may not be able to work physically in community service projects; however, see if they can support virtually.
Fun Activities for K-12 Math in the Virtual Classroom
Numbers and equations are fun by themselves for those who love numbers and equations. But, how do you make math fun for everyone?
Make it relevant.
Why do we need to understand these equations? Once students understand the “why”, math becomes important to them. Now, have some fun.
Allow students to research the real life applications of math and the equations they learn in class. Give students time to put together the research. Then allow them to teach their fellow classmates about the “real math” behind the principles they learn in class.
Step up the creativity and have students create t-shirts with the equations on them using sharpies and an old tee. Then during the next live session, they can wear their equations and discuss the real-life application.
Students Become the Teacher
Another fun math activity you can try uses Flipgrid. Have students pick something they’ve learned and reteach it in a video. Then, let them choose a topic they feel comfortable with. They can explain how to solve the equation and show their peers how to solve a math problem. Finally, they can use a marker board, holding it up for everyone to see, or other technology.
Puzzle Boxes or Escape Rooms
The last activity for making math fun for the virtual classroom are puzzle boxes and escape rooms. Students can complete digital puzzles and escape rooms. They have to correctly solve math problems in order to get out of the virtual escape room. Or they solve the puzzle which reveals a hidden message or image. These activities are fun, exciting, and interactive.
Virtual Activities for All Subjects
Games for the Virtual Classroom
Quizlet, Gemkit, Kahoot and Quizzes allows teachers to assign games for students to complete in a designated amount of time. Therefore not everyone has to be logged in at the same time to play the games. So it becomes easy for virtual learners.
Also, you can set up a Leader Board and put the top five scores for the class to see. This will engage those competitive students in the virtual classroom, and as I have noted, engagement is the key.
You can also award virtual prizes to add in more motivation to win. These prizes can include bonus points on assignments, digital stickers or badges, or digital downloads of puzzles, games, songs, poems, or coloring pages.
Scavenger Hunts for the Virtual Classroom
Scavenger Hunts are supper fun! Certainly, the best part is, you can make it more physical in this virtual learning environment!
Get Students OUTSIDE
Basically, take advantage of the virtual classroom and have students get out in the world around them. Make the items on your scavenger hunt include things that are typically found in homes, or outside in nature. Doing so allows your students to get up and stretch their legs!
If it is safe, you can set up a scavenger hunt that takes students around local areas for the purpose of getting students moving off screen. While out in the world, they will take pictures of stores or historical monuments or natural elements in their city.
Additionally, scavenger Hunts do not just have to be about pictures. Given that the items students are hunting for are related to your content area, students will see the relatability of the content. For example, you can have students find examples of literary devices in the real world (English), Historical monuments or historical locations (History), Natural Scientific elements (Science). So get creative and make your content REAL.
Literary Devices Scavenger Hunt:
Literary Devices can be found on billboards or in nature. In fact, things like juxtaposition can be captured in a photograph. Symbolism and metaphors, for example, can be captured in a photograph as well.
Science Scavenger Hunt:
Meanwhile, if you’re a science teacher there’s plenty of opportunities to take pictures of different ecosystems, litter, and pollution.
Many towns have rich history, in particular, have museums, statures and monuments. Students can drive by historical landmarks and take photos and write about the events when they are done.
Math teachers can send their kids on a photo scavenger hunt by having them take picture examples of real-life applications of math such as grocery shopping, construction sites, labs, and more.
Digital Scavenger Hunts for the Virtual Classroom
Another type of scavenger hunt you can set up for the virtual classroom is fully digital scavenger hunt. In this case, students simply use the internet to complete the tasks in the scavenger hunt. Additionally, in this format, students will go through a number of links or other digital resources to find items. Then they take a quick screenshot and put it in their answer sheet.
Use Social Media to Engage Your Virtual Students
Finally, the last thing to consider in your scavenger hunts is to include music books, magazines, websites, social media and movies. Seeing that students are obsessed with social media anyway, allow students to utilize social media for scavenger hunts.
Certainly you will be surprised at the student engagement. Undeniably, students love surfing social media; they’re addicted to it, literally. So have students scour their own social media feeds to find literary devices, puns for math or science, silly historical society posts, and more. Students can also do the same thing with videos and TV shows.
Ideally, students would use what they already watch to complete their work. Students are now watching TV, but now they’re doing it with an educational purpose in mind. As a result, this shows students that your subject matter is relevant.