TeachersFirst's Game-Based Learning Resources
This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst provides the editors’ choices of the TOP tools for game-based learning. Game-based learning is popular in today’s classrooms. Explore tools in various subject and topic areas. Differentiate for all students using games! Find games to help your students learn and review.
Explore all of the resources tagged game-based learning.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomAdd this game to your toolkit of lessons and activities when teaching Internet safety and media literacy skills. The Teachers' Guide already includes many ideas on integrating the game into classroom lessons and includes using technology to enhance and extend learning. Use these ideas as a starting point to build student engagement and help them understand the real-world applications for the information found in the game. For example, use the suggested Padlet, reviewed here, activity to compile quiz questions as suggested in Activity 5. After completing that activity, have students create their own videos, fake social media posts, or news articles that contain misinformation and create quiz questions for their peers to complete. Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here, is an excellent tool for students to use when creating websites, flyers, and infographics. As a final project, and to extend learning, have students share what they learned with others by producing podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, or digital books for younger students using Book Creator, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUtilize the Teacher-Guide to find ideas for classroom use. Use the table in the guide as a starting point to document and organize student learning. As students play The Pack, use a spreadsheet tool such as Excel or Google Sheets to recreate the table in the guide and add additional areas of documentation. Enhance student learning by having students use a screen recording tool like Screencastify, reviewed here, to share different portions of the game and their chosen actions. As a final activity, and to extend student learning, ask students to create their own environmental learning game using Scratch, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomShare a link to this site on your classroom computers for students to use as a geography center. Use the locations contained within the game as a starting point for student research projects. Allow students to choose from different locations for their project using a polling tool like Dotstorming, reviewed here. Dotstorming allows participants to add comments, use this option to let students sign up for their choice of location. Encourage collaboration between groups of students by using Padlet, reviewed here, to correlate a list of links and resources to use. Create a column for each country or location being studied and ask students to share resources as they find them. As students begin to gather facts and information, help organize their thinking by asking them to create infographics using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. Provide a list of topics to include such as population, main imports and exports, climate, etc. Instead of a typical written report, enhance learning by asking students to tell the story of their chosen location using Google My Maps, reviewed here. Google My Maps is more than a map-making tool; it includes features that allow you to add images, videos, and more to take viewers on a virtual trip anywhere in the world. Once students become familiar with Google My Maps, ask them to create their own geography game by providing clues to different locations found on their map.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomAdd games found on Clever Crazes for Kids to others shared on classroom computers. Encourage students to participate in games by earning points. Have students document and extend their learning by sharing screenshots of accomplishments and by screen recording student reading sessions to demonstrate progress. Use Seesaw, reviewed here, as a digital portfolio to document progress and share student learning with parents.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomUse Dreamscape to differentiate reading instruction for your students. Dreamscape is also an excellent option to share with ENL/ESL students to provide practice and support in English language instruction. Include a link to Dreamscape on classroom computers for use during reading centers, and provide a link on your classroom website for students to play at home, or for use in remote or blended learning. Include Dreamscape with other online reading programs using a bookmarking tool such as Symbaloo, reviewed here, for easy access for student use.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomDiscover and share the many free resources available on PBS Kids. Show clips on your interactive whiteboard, or with your projector, then have students complete an accompanying activity. With younger students, use Flip, reviewed here, as a video response platform for students to share how they would use what they learned by watching the videos or using the interactives. Alternatively, you might try using Acast, reviewed here; Acastis an extremely easy to use tool for creating audio to share as podcasts. PBS Kids is perfect for sharing with parents. Include a link to activities on your class website along with suggestions on how to use activities at home.
GradesK to 5
tag(s): addition (128), decimals (89), division (100), equations (121), fractions (164), game based learning (167), geometric shapes (132), Learning Management Systems (24), measurement (128), multiplication (123), number sense (71), place value (35), subtraction (110)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free games to provide practice and support with your math curriculum. Differentiate learning based on student ability and confidence. Assign content based on students' learning goals. Share this site with parents to provide practice and support of math concepts at home. Use SplashLearn's reports and assessment results to guide your math lesson planning. Share this site along with other math practice activities using a bookmarking tool such as Symbaloo, reviewed here. Share your Symbaloo link with parents and on classroom computers for easy access to all learning tools shared. Use activities found in SplashLearn as part of a blended learning experience using Blendspace, reviewed here. Include a link to games found on the site along with videos and other learning activities found both online or uploaded from your computer.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomShare a link to this site on your classroom computers for students to use as a geography center. Use the locations contained within the game as a starting point for student research projects. Allow students to choose from different locations for their project using a polling tool like Dotstorming, reviewed here. Dotstorming allows participants to add comments, use this option to let students sign up for their choice of location. Encourage collaboration between groups of students by using Padlet, reviewed here, to correlate a list of links and resources to use. Create a column for each country or location being studied and ask students to share resources as they find them. As students begin to gather facts and information, help organize their thinking by asking them to create infographics using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. Provide a list of topics to include such as population, main imports and exports, climate, etc. Instead of a typical written report, ask students to tell the story of their chosen location using Google My Maps, reviewed here. Google My Maps is more than a map-making tool; it includes features that allow you to add images, videos, and more to take viewers on a virtual trip anywhere in the world. Once students become familiar with Google My Maps, ask them to create their own geography game by providing clues to different locations found on their map.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): addition (128), coding (77), decimals (89), division (100), equations (121), fractions (164), functions (52), game based learning (167), geometric shapes (132), logic (164), measurement (128), multiplication (123), operations (75), probability (95), problem solving (219), pythagorean theorem (21), ratios (52), square roots (16), statistics (109), subtraction (110)
In the ClassroomLetsMod is perfect for use in math classrooms in a variety of ways. Become acquainted with the free lesson plans to incorporate LetsMod activities based on specific math skills. Encourage problem-solving and math exploration by including a link to LetsMod on classroom computers. Instead of assigning a worksheet or other math activity for homework, ask students to spend time exploring LetsMod at home. Extend and assess student learning by using Flip, reviewed here, for students to provide a short video reflection on their learning activity. Optional registration allows you or your students to save progress and create your own machines.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomThis game is perfect for use as an introduction to lessons on digital citizenship, media literacy, and social media. Share the site with your students to explore on their own and encourage them to play several different times using the different options provided. Your students won't mind playing over and over; it is easy to get hooked on trying to find the best way to gain as many followers as possible! Once students become familiar with the game and the different options presented for spreading misinformation, ask them to apply their findings to online content. Have them do some online research to find sites or information using tactics such as emotion and the others featured in Bad News. As they research sites and online information, have them add links to the sites they find on a class Padlet. Padlet, reviewed here, offers an option to create columns, use this option then label a column for each badge found in the game and ask students to share a link to their sites in the appropriate column. In addition to adding a link, have students include a comment providing information on why their site belongs in the category. Instead of assessing learning with quizzes or a written report, enhance learning and transform your assessment by having students create infographics to share information learned. Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, provides easy to use templates to create interesting and informative infographics. Extend leaning and ask students to become the teacher using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to create an online learning activity teaching others on how to recognize and avoid disinformation found online. Be sure to share your assessment rubric with students as part of your assignment. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 8
In the ClassroomSince the topic of immigration can be a sensitive issue in any American classroom today, you may want to use the lessons in From Provocative to Productive, reviewed here, to introduce how to have a respectful discussion (and develop critical thinking skills along the way). Once you feel students are versed a bit in diplomacy, use Immigration Nation as an introduction making sure students know the facts about becoming a citizen in the United States. Share the game on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. In order to assure your students know the requirements before participating in a discussion of this hot political issue, you may want to play with the entire class first, reminding students they need to learn the facts before they can effectively debate the issues. Then allow students to play on their own on the whiteboard or classroom computers, keeping a log of their actions and results. Once students know the facts, you could set up a discussion using Thinkalong, reviewed here, to practice their discussion and argument strategies. With older students, a next step might be to take the debate public using Virtual Debate, reviewed here, which has online examples and resources for conducting virtual debates.
GradesK to 4
tag(s): addition (128), counting (58), data (133), estimation (34), game based learning (167), geometric shapes (132), measurement (128), numbers (120), preK (246), professional development (312), vocabulary (231)
In the ClassroomCreate a link to learning games and activities on classroom computers. Post a link on your class website for use at home. Share information on the site with parents to assist them in helping their child with math and reading skills. Be sure to share the PBS Parents Play & Learn app that provides over a dozen learning games for parents to play with their kids, best of all, it is available in English and Spanish!
Grades5 to 10
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tag(s): body systems (41), cells (81), classification (21), dna (42), ecology (97), evolution (86), game based learning (167), genetics (69), human body (91), meiosis (9), photosynthesis (21), respiration (10), scientific method (47)
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site to your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector to review and reinforce concepts. If you are lucky enough to have access to iPads for your students, you could have the activities downloaded as apps to use for stations or early finishers. Be sure to include this site on your class webpage for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Have students create animated movies online using Binumi, reviewed here, to demonstrate biology concepts. Use an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here, to review concepts before quizzes and tests.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomHave fun in your classroom with virtual dice on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this with young students just learning to count. Have students take a guess about what number will "win." Use as an incentive and allow a student to roll the dice to meet a class goal. Set a goal of a large number, and every time a small goal is achieved, roll the dice and keep adding. Keep track until the class achieves the sum given. Practice basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division facts. Have team competitions and choose winners by even/odd, the greatest/least sum, greatest/least product or quotient. Allow students to work in small groups to play the mathematical practice games. For larger digits, roll two die simultaneously and get the greater number. Do the same to get double or triple digit numbers. Encourage your students to practice at home and play against their parents. Any time you need a dice, go to your bookmarked site. In older grades study probability and chance. Use the data and create line plots or graphs in various forms. Be sure to incorporate mean, median, and mode.
GradesK to 5
tag(s): design (85), environment (220), estimation (34), game based learning (167), gravity (41), literacy (97), measurement (128), operations (75), painting (56), patterns (63), reading comprehension (125), sight words (22), suffixes (9), vocabulary (231), vocabulary development (90)
In the ClassroomUse activities from this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to supplement current lessons. Create a link to specific activities on classroom computers for use as a learning center. Allow students to explore these sites on individual computers. Share links to games and activities on your class web page for students to try at home.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the Sunnylands Civics Games to introduce Constitution-related topics to your class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. View videos together and pause as needed to discuss information. Challenge students to try the interactive activities on individual computers or at home. Enhance learning by having students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Americans described in the games. Modify classroom technology use and enhance learning by having students create interactive timelines (with photos, text, and more) using Sutori, reviewed here, to trace the path of a bill or the writing of the Constitution.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomOh h1 is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site as a computer learning center or on individual computers. Challenge students to increase difficulty levels and elapsed time. Share this engaging site with your gifted students for some mind stretching fun! Be sure to include a link on your class website or blog (parents may want to try this one too). Have students challenge their parents to see who can complete puzzles the quickest!
Great for logic practice.Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5
Fun logic game-kids won't realize they are learning.Tammy, OR, Grades: 0 - 9
GradesK to 8
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tag(s): addition (128), assessment (121), classroom management (133), differentiation (69), division (100), fluency (22), game based learning (167), multiplication (123), subtraction (110), vocabulary (231), vocabulary development (90)
In the ClassroomCreate a classroom account. Use MobyMax during centers, for nightly homework, or computer lab time. Share with parents as an excellent resource for practicing math, reading, writing, grammar, science, and vocabulary skills at home. Use the pre-testing features at the beginning of the school year to get students started at the correct levels. Use this tool to differentiate for all students. Your gifted students can pretest out of material already learned and receive activities and instruction at their individual level. Be sure to bookmark this site to use with all levels of students.
Grades3 to 9
In the ClassroomTry this activity on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Create a quick poll (with no membership required) using Poll Everywhere, reviewed here, to view students' choices of actions to take throughout the game. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos using Adobe Creative Cloud Express Video Maker, reviewed here, explaining what they learned and sharing them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here, to explain the decision-making process for different scenarios.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you've ever wanted greater student engagement, increased student interest, and heightened discussion and interactivity in your classroom, Socrative is the answer. Students can give their input and express their views anonymously, if you wish.
In any curriculum area, ask open-ended questions and display student responses with your projector or interactive whiteboard. Alternatively, students could respond on a tool like Dotstorming, reviewed here, and also vote on the options.
Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.