What successful ways have you found to bring game-based thinking into the classroom?

Hey everyone! This week we are celebrating game-based thinking in the classroom and encouraging idea-sharing! Feel free to respond to the question below and share your experiences with gamification and game-based learning. All participants will be earning a sweet “Game Guru” badge:


Game based thinking takes kids outside the learning and into a game mindset - they forget that they practicing or being assessed!
I have used:

  • Breakouts (real boxes and digital and a combo of the two)
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Kahoot and Quizizz
  • Puzzles
  • Relay Races
  • Candy Challenge
  • Bowling or Mini Basketball (give a question and if they get it right can shoot for points/prizes)

What about you?


This is a great list! As you know, I absolutely love your breakouts and scavenger hunts! I am curious about the relay races. How do those work? I honestly don’t have a great amount of experience with integrating gamification or game-based learning in the classroom. As a former math teacher, I’ve used Khan Academy to engage my students in self-paced practice and review which has elements of gamification (points, badges). Also, I can see how some of the mechanics of gamification played into some of our math challenges. For example, I challenged my students to find how many pieces of printer paper it would take to fill our entire classroom, gave them rulers, and let them move about the classroom to find their best estimate. They had to cooperate with one another and devise a team strategy (ex: finding the volume of different objects first).

I an pretty new to both gamification and game-based learning overall, but am excited to learn more from people this week!


In a relay race, each team member gets one part of the sequence, and their answer is part of the next question. Sometimes at the end the answers come together as a type of cipher to solve a puzzle, and sometimes not. You can do all sorts of things within the construct. You can use paper, technology, whiteboards… been pondering how to use Goformative to do this one… haven’t quite figured it out, but if anyone else has any ideas I’m interested in hearing about them!

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Love this idea because it gets every kid participating and involved in the learning process. Not just that, but those kids that are always successful with ease, realize the importance and value of each team member’s contribution.

Can’t wait to hear more about how you incorporate Formatives with this!


I love the idea of connecting the questions through the answers themselves. That’s a great way to help maintain each student’s engagement throughout the race since they can see how it all works together. I could see you creating a formative with all the questions and each team shares a device. If they are able to work together, then I could see them all doing so on a sheet of poster paper and then the student who is responsible for the question, entering the response before passing it to the next person. How does that sound?

I’m using kahoot and plickers (Kahoot on paper, if you have no Chromebooks or iPads).

Sometimes I invent a story using role play and welcome my class to e.g. a competition for architects.
Giving my students the chance to become someone else even helps the more timid students to jump over their shadows and present amazing outcomes. Yeah, I have to admit: I really love role play and entertain my students from time to time. :wink:

Anyway, telling (personal or fictional) stories is helping to build up a good rapport.

LOVE game-based learning as there are few other means by which to get learners so immediately excited and fully engaged!

Tools/games I’ve used:

  1. Socrative
  2. Quizizz
  3. QR Treasure Hunts
  4. Digital and ‘physical’ BreaoutEdu scenarios
  5. Aurasma (AR) ‘Humour’ Quiz
  6. Metaverse (AR) Problem Sets
  7. Here’s The Answer, What’s The Question?
  8. Board Dash

I’m a huge fan of using Minecraft Education Edition in the classroom. I use it in my math class to help students learning 21st Century Skills while exploring math concepts in a game environment. Here’s a collection of lessons, how tos and more that I have put together. http://deanvendramin.weebly.com/minecraft-in-the-classroom.html If you have any questions like me know I love talking about Minecraft in the Classroom. I have also used tools like Kahoot (love being a game show host haha) and Breakout Edu is awesome as well.


@d.vendramin Thanks for sharing these resources Dean. I really liked watching this interview you did with your student. He has a great point about how you must consider things like area, perimeter, and surface when building structures with Minecraft. I love when gamification elements and learn concepts overlap so naturally because I believe it helps students internalize the applicability of what they learn.

Here’s that video for others:

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I love to use Kahoot! and Quizizz when it comes to review! I also like to do team reviews using white boards or a Jeopardy type game. There are a few websites that I use too (Quia, Brainpop, Arcademics…) as a source of game based learning!

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This is low-tech, but it’s game-based thinking. We have a review activity that I use in my various US and art history classes. I thought of it just on the spot one day, but it totally works for reviewing large amounts of content in a short amount of time.

Put students in groups of three to five, depending on the size of your class. Give each group a poster and each student a marker. Give them five minutes to review their notes and/or text on a topic.

Set a timer for five minutes (I love the classroom timers at online-stopwatch.com). Students write as many terms/events/people/etc. associated with the topic as they can.

At the end of five minutes, have one group go first. They read everything they wrote down. If another group or other groups have a match, they say, “Got it!”, and every group that had that item crosses it off the poster. Give each group a chance to share. The group with the most number of unique items (the ones not crossed off), is the winner! The scoring is based on the game Boggle, by the way.

I allow challenges, too, if a group thinks another group’s item isn’t legitimate. I teach history, so that often means that a term is outside the time period we’re currently studying. I serve as the ref and make the calls on the challenged items. If the challenger group is correct, they get a bonus point. If they challenged incorrectly, the group that had the term gets a bonus point.

It’s super simple, and it works for so many grade levels and content areas!


I love this love-tech idea! It seems like a great way for students to share everything they know about a topic and then build upon it in a memorable way!

I am currently running a “Design your Own Board Game” unit that goes into having students think like game designers. Instead of simply saying “create a board game”, we started by playing games, covered game mechanics, parts of games, and developed mini-games that were then play tested and refined. We are currently paper-prototyping of final products, which will be beta-tested before going into “full production” including advertising. https://mariana68.wixsite.com/boardgame


Woah! This is awesome :slight_smile: I love the game board format of your unit. It reminds me of a hyperdoc or a learning playlist. It’s such a visual way to show students the different learning activities they need engage in over the course of a learning unit!


I love this idea! This would work for my Science classes great! They have a test next week and this might be a perfect way to review :slight_smile:


I know this is an old conversation, but the idea is fabulous. @lwoodard. I see it working at many grade levels and cross-curricular as well. Any form of tech , high or low, is good. It’s all about what is best for students. I am definitely going to try this!


Edpuzzlealso good way to use in classroom as gamifiction

Kahoot, flipgrid, there are lots more

I have always wanted to do a breakout with my students. Alas, my students have been too immature for me to do it. I end up having to spend more time on the teaching without being able ot get to fun things like that.

I do, however, use quizziz a lot for review. My students love it and they work as teams to answer them or individually.

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