These games are for your use when you need to get your class settled
down or focused on the activity you’re doing. Some of these games
will work better than others for your particular class; feel free to use
the same game or games over and over to get your class quieted.
I. Counting to 10
Break the class up into two smaller groups. Each group needs to
count to ten aloud but only one person can talk at one time. One
person begins and by saying "one" and then another student continues the
counting with "two," until the group reaches "ten". This game is
harder than it seems because often two members of the group will say the
same number at the same time. Every time this happens, the group
must start all over again from "one." They must successfully work
together, using eye contact and caution, to reach "ten."
II. Ball Pass
One teacher claps out a rhythm, and the students (sitting in a circle)
pass a ball around in time to the rhythm. The teacher increases the
rhythm to as fast as the kids can go, then decreases it back down to a
quiet level, ending this way in order to get the kids’ attention.
The students must concentrate silently on the one teacher beating the rhythm
in order to successfully pass the ball.
III. I Say “Peace,” You Say “Games”
One teacher says “Peace” and the students respond at a similar volume
level with “Games.” Escalate up to fast and loud, then back down
to quiet and slow in order to get the kids’ attention.
IV. Clap once if you can hear me
One teacher whispers, “clap once if you can hear me.” The students
who hear that will clap. The teacher continues whispering, “clap
twice if you can hear me,” [claps], “clap three times…” until the
whole room is quiet and listening enough to clap the right number of times
in response to the teacher’s whisper. You can challenge the kids
after this activity to do it faster the next time.
V. Peace, Dude
Similar to the standard, when-I-raise-my-hand-everyone-else-raises-their-hands-and-is-silent,
you raise one hand and make a peace sign when the class gets too noisy.
The kids imitate this until the whole class is making peace signs and is
When the class gets too loud, one teacher rubs their thumbs and first
two fingers together as if making the “money” sign – this is gentle rain.
Once the whole class sees this and imitates it (silently), then the teacher
changes to snapping fingers and points at a group of students to change
also. The teacher acts as a conductor, escalating this to clapping
and eventually feet stomping to make a thunderstorm. Then de-escalate
down to gentle rain again, and you have the kids quiet and paying attention.
VII. At-desk activities
If you’ve tried the standard out-of-the-seat curriculum and it’s too
much for your class, you can modify the games so the students are participating
from their desks. Often, you can have students write instead of play
the games. For example, you could have each student jot down five
stereotypes in the stereotype lesson, and then go around the room and each
student reads one or two.
Refer to the funpack for more at-desk activities and other games that
you can play with minimal chaos.