I want to share with you my new, absolute favorite, back to school game. However, before I share the game, I need to give a little background…
My husband and I went on a cruise where there was a game showed called The Quest. We had no clue what we were getting into, but everyone told us we had to go. I’ll spare you all the details, but let me just say it was SO MUCH FUN! Even though it was definitely an adult show, my teacher brain was thinking of ways to adapt the premise to the classroom as a back to school game. Fast forward a few months later and…
I’ll start the directions with a warning to teachers. If you want a calm and quiet game, this isn’t it. This is a fast paced game that can be quite competitive and silly at times.
My students sit in clusters of four, so their table is students’ team for the game. When a quest is given, ONE person from the team brings an item to me or performs an action for me to observe. I don’t require my students to take turns bringing me the items. Instead, I let the dynamic of the group naturally unfold. I do require everyone to participate at least once.
The object of the game is for groups to earn as many points as possible in 20 rounds, or less if you want. When a quest is given, the first group to bring me the item earns three points, the second table earns two points, and any other table that meets the quest earns one point. There will be rounds where some groups don’t earn any points, and that’s okay. I love the fact that any group can earn a point in any round. This prevents teams from giving up. I don’t display the scores either, because it’s way too hard for me to keep up with as students are playing.
Since this is such an energetic game, it’s essential to have strict rules. My rules are no running, no shoving to get to the teacher first, and no yelling. I make groups lose points for breaking the rules. I walk around constantly, so I’m not giving an advantage to one group of students.
There is nothing to prep or print out for the game. I just display these slides on my project, and I’m ready to go. An example of something students may have to bring to me would be an airplane. I won’t specify what type of airplane, so students could make a paper airplane.
To keep things interesting, I may also ask students to do something for me, such as a split. I tried to come up with a lot of random things, so all students could have fun and participate. I have students do things such as push-ups and the chicken dance.
Some are pretty silly. For instance, in one quest one student must put on someone else’s left shoe and in other students have to play ring-around-the-roses.
The final and most challenging round is the Cookie Challenge. In this challenge, students place a cookie on the bridge of their nose and try to eat the cookie without touching it with their fingers. Once every member accomplishes their task, they get the point(s).
Students could let some of the rounds drag on for too long, so I try to set a time limit for each round. When time is up, I say, “This quest is” and students respond with “over”. At that point, a group can no longer earn a point for that round.
There really isn’t an academic purpose to this back to school game. Instead, it’s a unique twist to common ice breakers and is a great way to build classroom community. It’s also useful for bringing those reserved students out of their shell. I’ve added a link to the game here for FREE, so be sure to grab it!