When teaching middle school students, you may sometimes need some puzzles or games to keep your students occupied while you are performing a task or if a student finishes a test before the rest of the class. A well-chosen puzzle or game can help students learn concepts and practice skills, while also providing an enjoyable change from routine classwork. Many such puzzles and games are available free of charge or you can make them up yourself.
The classic crossword is both challenging and educational. The crossword can cover virtually any subject. You can adjust the difficulty for your students by choosing whether or not to include a word bank. It may be hard work to create your own crosswords, but an abundance of educational crossword puzzles are available on the Internet.
A scavenger hunt lets middle school students get out of their seats and learn about a subject at the same time. You can use the scavenger hunt to teach about a variety of subjects and concepts. For example, you can have a scavenger hunt in the chemistry lab to encourage students to find and identify lab equipment. You can teach skills such as how to use the school's resources for research by having students use the school's media center to find topics in books, newspapers and the Internet.
Turn your middle school classroom into a game show set with an educational version of "Jeopardy" using a projector and slide show software. You can divide the class into teams to answer questions and compete for small prizes. Ready-made versions of the game are available on the Internet, or you can make your own with subject questions and answers.
Sudoku puzzles are logic games that can help students hone their reasoning skills. At many websites, you can print sudoku puzzles for free, or if your students have access to computers, you can direct them to a website where they can complete the puzzles online.
Theo Estes started as a commercial freelance writer in 2010. He has presented papers at regional, national and international academic conferences on topics including philosophy, literature and film studies. Estes holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with minors in communications, philosophy and gender studies from Truman State University. He currently serves as contributor and assistant editor at Video Word Made Flesh.