Over the past few years I have used dice in a number of different ways in my classes. Dice games and activities are great tools to foster collaborative work between students. They also help students communicate through talking, listening and taking turns during these activities. Choosing the top five for today’s post has been quite difficult, the reason being that dice are involved in so many fun games. I have tried to give you a good mix of different games and activities that can be used with students of all ages. Some of the games might need to be slightly modified depending upon the age and ability of your students.
I have found that dice games are fantastic homework tasks for students. The students are given a dice and the rules of a game and their homework is to take this home with them and teach the game to their family. Not only does this make the student feel important as they have to explain and demonstrate an activity that they have learnt at school, but it also moves the learning from the classroom to the student’s home. By introducing a fun and educational game, parents automatically have a great activity that they can play as a family. Basically I see this as a win: win to everyone.
Here are my top 5 dice education breaks, I hope you enjoy.
Equipment: 1 dice, paper and pen
Description: Number each corner of the room 1 to 4. Pick one student to be the Master. The Master closes their eyes and counts aloud from ten to zero. Meanwhile, each student tiptoes silently to any one of the four corners of the room. Everyone must be in a corner by the time the Master says “zero” and then calls out a number of a corner. Students in that corner are out and must return to their seats. The other students continue in the game. The game finishes when you have one winner and they become the Master for the next game.
Equipment: 1 dice and scoring sheet per pair
Description: Students play ‘Pig’ in pairs. The first student rolls the dice as many times as they like, adding up the total as they go. If the student throws a 1; all their score for that round is lost. The student rolling may stop at any time and put their score in the bank the banked score cannot be lost. When a score has been banked the dice is passed to the other student who has their turn. The winner is the first student to reach 50 or more. If you want to challenge the student’s increase the total bank score to 100.
Equipment: 2 dice (up to 7 dice for older players) Paper and pencil
Description: This game can be played in pairs, threes or fours. Students take it in turns to roll the dice and put them in order to make the highest number possible. For example, if a student rolls a 4 and 6, their best answer would be 64. Students using 3 dice, a roll of 3, 5 and 2 should give them 532, and so on. Students need to write down their answer, pass the dice and challenge the next student to “Beat That”. Play in rounds and assign a winner to each round. For a change try making the smallest number possible! This is a great game for reinforcing the concept of place value. If you are playing with younger students explain your reasoning aloud and encourage them to do the same.
The Big Cross
Equipment: Pen, paper and two dice
Description: This game is played in pairs. Each student writes the numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 on a piece of paper. Students take turns to roll two regular dice, add both numbers rolled together and cross out the total on their piece of paper. The first player to cross out all the numbers is the winner.
The Final Count Down
Equipment: Pen, paper and dice
Description: This game can be played in pairs, threes or fours. Each student begins with 100 points. Students take it in turns to roll a dice and subtract the number from their 100 points. The first player to reach zero is the winner. To make the game more challenging change the number of points the students begin with. The students may roll two regular dice and either add or multiply the numbers together before subtracting from the total.