The Ten Minute Teacher Vocabulary Games — Flyswat Vocabulary

I am warning you in advance that if you choose to use this game, your teenagers will become engaged and maybe loud. This was one of my students’ favorite games that we played last year (as you can see by the classroom decor and the kids’ ages). It also is super competitive and requires a lot of hyper movement but for only two kids at a time. If you’re a fuddy duddy, this game is not for you.

I love this game because it is FUN. The other reason why I love this game is because it requires less than ten minutes of teacher prep time, part of which can be done by the students. I am also going to describe how this game could require NO prep time.

So, there are two basic tasks that must be completed prior to game time. The teacher needs to write each word and hang them up all around the room and come up with game questions.

For the busy teacher, you can have each student write a question and you can just check each question. This is also a formative assessment on the student’s ability to use the vocabulary word and think critically. You can also have each student write a word on a piece of paper or have one student make the vocabulary cards. Enlist students to also hang up the cards all over the classroom. They love doing stuff like that.

After the game is prepped, you should form two teams (I use playing cards or houses, but you can do it any way you want). The teams will each send one Swatter forward at a time. My swatters stand on the game line I made on my classroom floor with electrical tape while I am reading the clue. Once I read the clue, I say “go!” and the students compete to see whose fly swatter will touch the correct answer first.

I highly suggest using fly swatters, instead of students’ hands, because using hands may cause drama. You also want to do this somewhere away from other classes (as I learned last year) and use a room where it is okay to put masking tape or blue tape on the walls. We did make it a rule if the swatter swats a word and it is wrong, he or she must wait thirty seconds before choosing a new word.

If you do not already have flyswats, you can get some cheap ones from the Dollar Tree, use a ruler, or make one from paper and a stick. You can even use two towels or t-shirts and have the kids “pop” the correct answer. Get creative with this part! It doesn’t have to cost a thing to be a great game!

Kill the flies,

D’Lee, aka Mrs. P

PS: This is one game that I did not make up myself, but I adapted it for my kids / high school kids. I have seen elementary models that hang the vocabulary cards from the ceiling and use a fly picture on the card. The kids even swat the flies. That was very cute, but I have a life. I need something that takes less than ten minutes.

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