What Else Can We Use Whiteboards For?
Sure, whiteboards for businesses have many uses, but they can also be used for fun inside the classroom. Part of the reason why whiteboard games are so popular is because of the challenge involved with keeping students engaged in lesson plans. According to many education experts, introducing some form of activity within your classroom can boost student engagement, concentration, and retention skills.
There are dozens of classroom games you can play with your students that only require a dry-erase board, a marker, and a little bit of creativity. We've put together this helpful list of whiteboard games to help detail some of our favorites that can be enjoyable for both students and teachers alike.
Some of the Best Whiteboard Games for Kids
- Earthquake – This is a classic trivia game that is easy to play and will undoubtedly be fun for everyone in the classroom. To play 'Earthquake,' grab your marker and draw a grid on the whiteboard that is 5 by 5, labeling each column with the letters A through E, and each row from one to five. Each square will have a question in it, a question that students won't know until they actually pick a particular score; however, it's important to remember that before starting the game, the instructor must secretly pick three squares on the board that don't have questions. These squares will be known as 'earthquakes,' where students will lose points for selecting that square.
- Win, Lose or Draw – If you like to draw, then this game can be a blast for everyone. To play, a student is to draw a picture while the other students take guesses as to what is being drawn. Whoever can guess correctly gets the point and is up for drawing the next picture!
- Jeopardy – One of the longest-running television game shows in history can also be played on a whiteboard. Students will have to really think and use the knowledge they have learned to score points. To play, divide the whiteboard into columns to designate spots for both vocabulary categories and point value rows. From there, divide everyone into two teams, with teams selecting a category and a point value. They will be given a clue or definition and must give their answer in the form of a question, just like on the show.
- Hangman – One of the simplest, yet most classic games is Hangman, and its simplicity makes it a great whiteboard game. To play Hangman, lines will be drawn out in a row, to represent blank letters and words. Students have to guess letters, and for each correct letter guessed, they will be an inch closer to figuring out the word or phrase that they've been given. However, students don't get that many chances to guess the correct letters. Students will have approximately six chances to figure out the mystery word or phrase!
- Super Egg – This is another highly educational game where two eggs are drawn on the board, and then each is divided into six sections. The instructor asks questions, and if a team gets the answer correctly, then they're allowed to color in one of the six sections of the egg. Once their egg is completely shaded in, they can draw whatever they like, imagining that it hatched from the egg!
- Tic Tac Toe (Trivia Edition)–Everyone knows how to play tic tac toe, so this game is sure to be easy to pick up for all ages. To start, split your classroom into teams of four, and organize said teams into a March Madness-style bracket. Next, draw your traditional 3 x 3 tic tac toe grid on your whiteboard and bring the first matchup of teams to the front of the classroom. Each team will take turns answering trivia questions that relate to your current curriculum. If a team answers a question correctly, they can then place their move on the tic tac toe grid; if a team answers a question incorrectly, they have to skip a turn. Repeat the process until your bracket is complete and crown the champion!
- Hot Seat– Start with two students facing the front of the classroom with their back facing the whiteboard and divide the class into halves with each half having one student in the front of the room. Write a vocabulary word, phrase, or important date in history on the board. After both teams have taken time to read, understand, and clarify what is on the board with their team, set a timer for one minute. Once the timer begins, teams must describe the word to the student with their back to the board without directly saying it. If the student at the front of the classroom can guess correctly, their team gets a point. Select a new student from each team to sit in the hot seat and repeat.
- Pictionary– Make your own game of Pictionary using your own curriculum. Split your classroom into multiple teams and divide your dry-erase board accordingly so that each team has its own place to draw. Meet with each team's artist and share the card that they will need to sketch. Set a timer for one minute and allow teams to guess what's being sketched. The first team to guess correctly gets a point.
- Whiteboard Scrabble– This game works best in a smaller classroom setting. Start by bringing one student to the front of the classroom and ask them to write a vocabulary word on the board and recite its definition. Ask another student to come to the front of the room and write and define another related vocabulary word that branches off the original. Students receive a point for each word they can branch off an existing word. However, if a student can't define the word, they only receive half a point.
- Dots and Boxes XYZ– This version of dots and boxes requires students to be able to solve three variable equations and requires teachers to have access to at least two different colored dry-erase markers. Start by drawing both a 4 x 4 array of dots on your whiteboard, followed by a three-variable algebra equation off to the side. We've left one below for an example:
x−2y+3z=7The 4 x 4 array of dots will create a series of boxes, which you should fill with variables that include X, Y, and Z (for example, one box may contain 2Y, and another box may contain X-3, etc.) These variables will serve as mini equations that dictate the number of points awarded for a completed square. Split your classroom into two teams, give each team one of the colored dry-erase markers, and task them with solving the equation on the board. Once both teams feel confident in their answer, the game will begin. Each team will take a turn connecting two lines on the matrix. Once a box has been filled in, the team that filled in the final line is awarded the points within the box. Play until the last box has been filled. Allow each team to tally their points, review the equation as a class, and then award a winner! You can learn more about XYZ dots and boxes using this PDF Download
Are there any creative whiteboard games that you've played or can think of? Share them with myself and our readers in the comments section below!