A friend asked me what sorts of games might be playable over zoom.
I was going to write an email with some games I’ve played with my advisory, but I figured I might as well just blog about it in case it’s useful to anyone else.
Some important context: I have an awesome advisory group of 8 kids. They’re juniors now but I’ve been with them since they were ninth graders. So we’re comfortable with each other and they know a bit about each other. In quarantine, we always start our distance learning school day with a 15 minute zoom advisory. Honestly, it almost always is one of my favorite parts of the day because … well, if you met my kiddos you’d know why. Sometimes I lead advisory with an activity, sometimes I assign them to come to advisory with a plan. Here are some things we’ve done and things we may do in the future. Some of them are games. The ones with * are things they’ve suggested but we haven’t done or I’ve been thinking about doing it but we haven’t done.
- We’ve done a pet share. Kids brought their pets (or some sort of stuffed animal or other object) and introduced their pet to the advisory.
- We’ve shown our workspaces during digital learning to each other.
- We shared things that were difficult about online learning and problem solved together.
- I posted a list of 8 random items (a balloon, a jar of peanut butter, the playing card the 7 of hearts, etc.). I assigned point values to the items based on their obscurity. Students took a photo of the list and had 10 minutes to gather everything and come back at a certain time. Then they tallied up their points, and we declared a winner. (I hope a student does this when leading their advisory… I wanted to play!)
- Played Kahoot (with pre-made Kahoots)
- Each of us bring baby pictures of ourselves and share them with each other
- We break up into two teams on zoom. We pick a word (e.g. “love” or “red”). Each team has 30 seconds to come up with a song lyric or title with that word in it. We go back and forth until a team can’t come up with another one.
- The same thing as the previous one, but we changed it from song lyrics to song titles, movie titles, book titles, magazine titles, etc. (media titles).
- Played Mad Gab. I projected a card and kids tried to figure out what the card was saying. We played this fine with kids just sounding things out on their own, but I was thinking they could mute themselves and then they could unmute themselves when they think they got it.
- Played drawphone. This is like telephone, but with words/phrases and drawings. Initially we started out with pre-written words from telestrations/pictionary, but recently we’ve done it where we ourselves write the initial words/phrases. This is one of my favorites! Caution: there is a cards against humanity version that you can play on this site — so you should always initiate the game, and ask kids the join (and not let kids create the game).
- Played pictionary/skribbl.io. Initially, we did this using the pictionary words built-in, but then one of the students (when they were leading the advisory) came with words associated with our school (people, places, terms, etc.). That was so sweet.
- Picked a Sporcle quiz, I projected it, and we collectively tried to see how good we could do working together. I typed what they told me to type. We did this today and we did a Pixar quiz (3 minutes) and a Harry Potter quiz (8 minutes). Also, one of my favorites!
- Projected some “would you rather” questions I found online and had kids discuss them.
- Since kids are doing a lot of cooking, I told them to take photos of their cooking process and their final foodstuffs… and then we shared those photos.
- *One person gets put in a breakout room alone. The rest of the people get assigned some weird feature (e.g. they can only speak in questions, all their sentences have to start with the letter T, they have to cough each time they speak, they have to mention a color each time they speak, they have to address each person they speak to by their name, they have to do a strange hand movement at the camera each time they speak, etc.). Then the person has to come out of the breakout room and talk with everyone and try to determine what the person’s quirk is.
- *Play Spyfall.
- *Play Evil Hangman.
- Update: We did this! (But I just found it online too!) We can do it with the annotation/whiteboard feature on zoom. Me (not playing) secretly emails everyone but one person the same object (e.g. A teddy bear) and one person gets an email saying they don’t get told what the object is. We go around and each person draws one line/shape on the board. A line is considered anything you draw without picking your pencil/pen up. The group has to decide — after two rounds of drawing — who wasn’t told the object being drawn. For example, let’s say everyone but one person was told the object was “teddy bear.” So the person who wasn’t told “teddy bear” has to be careful about what they draw… they’re always taking a risk when drawing… but the rest of the people can’t be too obvious either, because if it’s clear early on it’s a creature of some sort, the person who wasn’t told could draw an eyeball or something. If the group correctly guesses what the item is (watch the video to determine how the group guesses) then the fake person can still win if they can identify what the object was supposed to be.
(This is like Spyfall, but with drawings!)
Update: We did this today! It’s based on a game called A Fake Artist Goes to New York [video tutorial]
- Update: My advisory played scattegories online today! I admit to not really understanding how it worked at the beginning, but by the end I think I had the hang of it.
- Update: Today one of my advisees created a playlist on spotify. She shared her desktop with audio but had a random chrome page shared so we couldn’t see her spotify. She then controlled her spotify from her phone and played the music. The first person to identify the song won a point. I kinda loved this even though I definitely didn’t know many songs… and then someone else suggested next time we all rotate who shares a song so we can get lots of different genres and get to know other peoples’ musical tastes also. Without screensharing with audio, I tried just playing a song from my computer to see if kids could hear it, and they said they could hear it fine… so it seems like that would work pretty seamlessly.
- Update from an advisor colleague at school (Carla K): Go visit a museum tour virtually together!
- Update: We played “Charades” today! We started by each person just acting out whatever they wanted to and everyone else trying to guess. And then when a student had trouble coming up with an idea, I private messaged them on zoom to give them 3 choices to choose from. And then we played that way! No teams. Nothing serious. Super fun!
If anyone has anything they’ve done that’s fun and low-key like this with their kiddos in advisory or class, please throw down ideas in the comments! I’d love to add to our list!
Update: John Golden shared, in a recent culling of neat math/teaching things, this google doc which not only has games but also digital escape rooms!
Update: My friend Mattie Baker sent me this image which has lots of boardgames online! It includes some that I’ve listed above, and a lot more!