General Note On Games:
The following is a selection of tried and trusted games to use at the beginning of a class (to raise energy levels or to calm down a class) or alternatively at the end of a class as a reward for work well done.

The students love games - as it gives relief from boredom and a chance for some fun. The teacher loves them because they’re a chance to have fun with the students and also helps the students to focus on the real work (!) that (inevitably) follows the game.

If you are going to play a game, do make sure that you move the furniture out of the way in advance. Have a system for doing this before the class begins so that you don’t create chaos. (It’s easier to appoint 6/7 students to move furniture while the rest of the class line up outside.) Allow time at the end of class to put the furniture back.

Index Of Games:
1.  "Who am I?" (calming).
2.  "Marching Band." (energiser).
3.  "Cat and Mouse." (energiser).

4.  "Knots." (energiser).

5.  "Find your Twin!" (energiser/noisy).
6.  "If I were a …….." (calming).
7.  "Golden Goose." (quiet energiser).
8.  "Floppy Dogs." (relaxation exercise).
9.  "Murder!" (calming/focusing).
10."The Sharks are Coming!" (energiser/noisy)
Name of Game: "Who am I?"

Good for:

Materials needed:
Enough "labels" 11`` x 4`` approx. (half an A4 page) for half the class. Each label contains the name of a well known personality. Sellotape for attaching labels.

Divide the class in two- (A+B). Get them to face the wall. Attach labels to the backs of all the students in Group A. They must not tell one another the names on the labels.

The two groups now mingle. It is the job of Group A student to find out the name on their back by questioning Group B students (i.e. Am I Irish?

Am I male? Etc.) They may ask only one question at a time and then move on to another student. They may ask as many questions as they like of as many students as they like but members of Group B may only answer "Yes" or No".
When the student has successfully guessed his/her name they must return to their chair.


Name of the Game: Marching Band.

Good For: Fun and raising energy levels.

Resources needed: (a) Tape recorder.
                               (b)Lively military music.
(1) Tell the students that you are going to put on some music and you want them to move around the room in time to the music.
(2) After a minute or two tell the students that they are listening to an orchestra and that you want them to choose an instrument from the orchestra and play it in mime form as they move around the room. They must be careful not to knock or push anyone.
(3) After a few minutes of this, invite a student to mime conducting the orchestra. The orchestra must stand and follow the conductor’s signals. Change conductors a few times and finish up.

  Name of the Game: Cat and Mouse.

Good for: Silent Fun!

Two students are blindfolded. One is the cat, one the mouse. The other students stand in a wide circle around them. The cat must now catch the mouse. The students in the circle must gently keep the cat and mouse within the circle. The mouse must squeak (eek! eek!) when caught. The game takes place in absolute silence! No pushing please.

Name of the Game: "Knots"
Good for:

Divide the students into groups of 4-6. Each group must form a circle. Each student puts his/her right hand in and takes the hand of a partner. They the must place their left hand in the circle and clasp another hand.
Now still holding hands they must unravel the knot without letting go.

Name of the Game: "Find your twin"

Good for: Livening up a really dead class. Be warned - its noisy…..

(1) Divide the class into two groups-(A+B). Explain that you are going to allocate an animal to each student. Gather group A and allocate (by whispering) the name of an animal/bird to each student. Do not allow Group B to hear. Choose animals/birds that make an identifiable noise i.e. dog, cat, mouse, cow, donkey, horse, pig, sheep, lion, cuckoo, bee, duck, owl, pigeon, blackbird, frog, chicken.
Remind the group to remain silent while you speak to Group B.
(2) When you have completed the above, repeat the procedure for Group B-allocating the same animals so that there is a match for each animal.

(3) Allow the groups to mingle briefly in silence.
(4) Tell the students to close their eyes. Each student must now make the appropriate noise for their bird/animal while moving around the room (with eyes closed) trying to find their twin bird/animal. When the student finds his/her twin they must return to their chair. The game finishes when everyone is paired off.
Name of the Game: "If I were a ….."

Good for:

Directions: The group sits in a circle. Each student is asked to finish a statement like: "If I were a bird I’d be a ……" or "If I were an animal I’d be a…."
Ask each student to explain his/her choice.

Name of the Game: Golden Goose.

Good for: fun and concentration. (Silent game)

Directions: Get the students to form a circle. Go round the circle whispering the word "Nothing" in each student’s ear and the word "Goose" in a chosen student’s ear. Nobody must know who the goose is. Everybody must now mingle - with eyes closed. Every time they touch another student they must say "Goose?". If they receive no reply, they may move on. Only the Goose or someone already attached to the goose is allowed to reply by hissing. If the student finds the Goose, he or she must hold on to the Goose until everybody is attached and the game is over.

Name of the Game: "Floppy Dogs" (relaxation exercise)

Good for:

Resources Needed: Tape recorder and tape of relaxing music.

Give the students the following instructions:

"I want you to stand up for a few minutes. We are going to do a relaxation exercise. In order to do this we must first get rid of the tension from our bodies. I want you to lift your right leg off the floor and shake it (gently please). Imagine that you are shaking off all the tension of the day. Now switch to your other leg and shake out all the tension in your left leg. Just shake it off gently. Now with your two feet on the ground, shake out your right arm-from the shoulder down. Keep the movement firm but gentle - shake out all the tension from your arm. (Pause).

Lay your arm by your side and switch to your left arm. Shake it out from the shoulder down - remember to keep the movement firm but gentle. (Pause).
Now I want you to imagine that you are a dog who has just had a bath -you want to shake off all that water off your whole body. Take a few seconds to be Floppy Dog shaking all that water off your whole body. Be gentle - begin by shaking the water off your head and shoulders (Pause).
Now from your arms and upper body (Pause).
Now from your lower body (Pause).
Now all the exertion has worn out this Floppy Dog so we’re going to allow him a little rest in the sun. So sit down in quietly in your chair in a comfortable position while I put on some relaxing music. (Put on music).
Now settle in comfortably in your chair. Close your eyes and let your arms fall at the side of your chair. (Pause).
Let your legs relax - two feet on the floor. Don’t cross your legs (Pause).
Just relax and feel yourself becoming calm (Pause).
Become aware of your breathing (Pause).
Breathe in slowly from the bottom of your lungs (Pause) -
Exhale slowly (Pause).
Feel your breathing slowing down as you as you relax (Pause).
Listen to the music (Pause).
Imagine you are that Floppy Dog sitting in the sun (Pause) -
perfectly relaxed (Pause).
Keep your eyes closed and breathe slowly (Pause).
Feel the sun shining on your body (Pause) -
warming and relaxing you (Pause).
Feel all the tension drain from your head (Pause),
through your upper body (Pause),
then lower body (Pause), through your legs (Pause)
and floating away (Pause).
You are at peace and relaxed (Pause).
Now in silence I want you to remain relaxed and listen to the music -just relax and be here (Pause).

[After a minute or two turn off the music.] When you are ready I want you to come back to the room and open your eyes. Stretch - like a dog waking up after a good nap."

Name of Game: Murder

Good for:

(A) Get the class to sit in a circle. One student is chosen as the "Detective". This student must wait outside the door (or well away from the group with his/her back turned) until the murderer is chosen. For the first round the teacher chooses the murderer - for the subsequent rounds the detective from the previous round may choose.
(B) The teacher goes around whispering "Murderer" in a chosen student’s ear and the word "Nothing" in every other student’s ear. The murderer’s identity must be kept secret from the group.
(C) The murderer kills his/her victims by winking. If you are winked at you must show that you are dead by putting your head in your hands.
(D) When the murderer has been chosen and everybody (including the detective) knows the procedure - call the detective back to his seat in the circle. His job is to catch the murderer before he/she kills more than half the group.
(E) The detective has two guesses (1) when a quarter of the group has been murdered. (2) Any time up to the point where over half the group has been murdered.

The game is over once the second guess has been taken.

Name of the Game: "The Sharks are Coming".

Good for:

(A) The chairs are put in a circle with spaces between them. Make sure each student knows which chair is theirs (can mark it with a copy or put his/her schoolbag under it)
(B)The students must stand in a circle around the outside of the chairs. No running or pushing is allowed in the game.
(C) Explain to the students that they are fish swimming in a big ocean.
They must make swimming motions with their arms as they moved around the circle. They must all move in one direction on the teacher’s instructions.
(D) The Teacher gives the first instruction:
1)"The fish are swimming"-this means "go". They must swim, all in one direction. You can repeat this direction until you want to change to (2) "The tide is turning"-in which case the fish must turn around and swim in the opposite direction. You then continue with instruction (1) "The fish are swimming" until you want to go to (2) "The tide is turning" or finally to (3) "The Sharks are coming!"
(E) When the instruction "The sharks are coming" is given, the students must go immediately to their chairs and sit down. They may only proceed to their chairs in the direction in which the group is moving when the instruction is given. They must not cross the circle or turn back. The last person back to their chair is out and must take their chair out of the circle.

The game continues until a winner emerges.