Learning enhanced through fun and games

Isabella Collins, Staff Reporter

Moving away from ordinary lessons and towards games that provide a broad range of learning intrigues the minds of students and helps them develop important skills. To develop those skills, students have to be engaged.

Worksheets with numerous problems and never-ending pages of textbooks do not engage students. 

 “They will know how to work as a team,” said Mrs. Laura Semba, Japanese and English teacher. Teamwork is an important skill that requires a student to play a part and help.

“If a person doesn’t study, that affects the group as a whole. It encourages students to study,” she said. 

When playing the same game, students become habituated to the process of the game. They know what to do in order to excel in the game and in order to do so, studying is involved. When playing Quizlet live or Kahoot for example, students need to study the material in order to win. 

Students would not be motivated to study if they were given study guides where they had to dig deep to find the answers. They want to be involved in games or an activity that encourages them to study while having fun. 

Isabella Castillo-Dorado, a junior said, “ Lessons are really important, but games make you think faster, remember stuff, and also make friends.”

Students can form positive memories from playing games. When teachers incorporate fun into learning, students are willing to be more engaged in the activity which stimulates the brain. From those memories, they can retain information easily if something interesting were to stick out to them like vocabulary or a main idea of a lesson. 

“I usually do better on my quizzes and tests when I play some sort of game,” Isabella said.

When those interesting moments stick out for students, it makes it easier to recall that information when it comes to taking a quiz or a test. 

Out of all the classes students can take, foreign language classes are known to play more games to help memorize vocabulary and practice structures. Running through exercises in the textbook and getting assigned workbook pages does not sound interesting to students. Yes, it’s important to understand vocabulary and important structures, but once in a while a game is nice to enhance learning. 

Michael Webster, a student enrolled in Japanese 3 said, “It really depends on the game, what the class is, what the test is over, but generally they can help me with memorization-heavy lessons like vocabulary in a foreign language course.” As for lessons filled with many vocabulary words, games are a perfect way to study.

Quizlet Live, Kahoot and other games invented by the teacher are great ways to help students review lessons that include numerous vocabulary words. 

Board races, a game Mrs. Semba has students play helps to review vocabulary. The rules of the game are simple: a person from each row of seats would go up to the whiteboard at the front of the class and when a vocabulary word is called out, they have to write it as fast as they can to score a point for their group (row). As the person is up at the board, students who are seated are expected to write down the term to help them study as well. 

Teachers have unique games that correspond to what course they are teaching and what the students are learning. It shouldn’t matter what course you are taking, playing a game should be incorporated into lessons to enhance learning for students.