There are a number of games that can be played with second graders that are both educational and community-building. These games are great for a rainy day and for a fun lesson. They are best played with classes of 10 to 20 kids.
The students are instructed to draw a monster on a piece of paper. On a separate sheet of paper, the students are instructed to describe the monster they have just drawn. When this is finished, all students pair up. The students are instructed to take turns reading the descriptions of the monster, while the partners draw the descriptions as they are read. When this is finished and all students have read their descriptions, the drawings of monsters are compared to the originals.
Circle Skip Counting
The teacher instructs the students to stand in a circle. The teacher chooses a number to count by (twos, threes, fours, etc), and picks a starter player. Beginning with the starter player and moving around the circle, each student says the next number in the sequence. Any student that says an incorrect number sits out until all students have been eliminated and a winner is declared.
Community Ball Toss
The teacher instructs students to stand in a circle. The teacher throws the ball (if indoors, use a squishy, non-bouncy ball) to a starter student, then the students are instructed to put their hands behind their back once they have had the ball, and the ball is tossed around until all students have had the ball just one time. The last student to receive the ball sends the ball back to the teacher. Next, the teacher sends the ball back to the same starter student, and the ball is tossed in the same sequence it was thrown in previously. The sequence is repeated once or twice, and then gradually the teacher begins to throw more balls into the circle, again following the same sequence, until there are five or six balls being thrown in the circle, at different points in the sequence.
Guess My Number
The teacher puts up a number line and says, "I am thinking of a number between...[insert two numbers]". For example, the teacher thinks of the number 18. The teacher says, "I am thinking of a number between 5 and 33." The teacher shows this on the number line with a sticky-note placed on 5 and a sticky note placed on 33. One student guesses a number--for example, 24. This is not the correct number, so the teacher moves the outer sticky note from the number 33 to the number 24, and says, "I am thinking of a number between 5 and 24". This continues until the number has been guessed.
This game is played just like ordinary Bingo, but the numbers have been replaced with sight-words. Each student is given a laminated card with a grid of sight-words on it (the center square is the "FREE SPACE"). The teacher draws the sight words from a hat, and the students mark the words on their laminated cards (with bingo chips or dry-erase markers) as the words are called. The first student who gets a line of marked words down his Bingo card shouts out "Bingo!" and wins the round.
- Nora Robinson; Larchmont Charter School; Los Angeles, California
- School girl image by Mykola Velychko from Fotolia.com