The morning meeting is a joy-filled time of day. Kids love it – especially the morning meeting games/activities. But teachers often wonder, what are some good morning meeting games and activities? I shared a few of my favorites in my post that gave an overview of the morning meeting routine, but I will share a few more in this post.
In the Responsive Classroom morning meeting, each day includes a short, but fun activity. (Note, they don’t use the word “game” – teachers can include a variety of fun activities.) The purpose behind the activity portion of the meeting is to create a sense of class community through shared experiences. These activities can even reinforce curriculum from other parts of the day.
My original post included a variety of activities that incorporated academic content. This allows teachers to be more efficient with their use of time during the school day. But sometimes, you just might want a fun and simple game. I’ll share several of my favorite games for morning meeting in this post.
A Warm Wind Blows:
Kids love this get-to-know you game. I’ve used it with kids as young as early kindergarten. At first, the teacher will need to announce the “category,” but soon kids can take over.
To play, have kids sit on chairs in a circle. You will need one less chair than kids. (I’ve also had kids stand on removable dots.) The leader announces “A warm wind blows for anyone who is wearing red.” Everyone who is wearing red leaves their chair/spot and finds a new one. The child without a spot becomes the new leader/announcer.
When you begin you may want to start with categories where you know the answer:
- clothing color
- shoe type
- hair color
- has a particular letter in their name
If you know who the category applies to, you can prompt them to find a new spot.
In time (and with older/more experienced players), the categories can become more abstract:
- favorite color/food/animal
- birth order/family size
- exclusions (“anyone who does NOT ___”)
The kids may surprise you with the categories they come up with!
This is a simple, verbal game that kids love. The leader (again, the teacher at first), silently identifies an object in the classroom (for instance, the library cart.” The leader says, “I spy with my little eye, something that is black.” Students take turns guessing black objects until a child identifies the correct one. You may need to narrow the object down with further clues if it seems tricky (ex: “something black with wheels.”)
Students love to be the “boss” in this game! To play, the leader gives a command. Anytime the command is accompanied by the phrase “Simon says,” the children need to follow the command. If the leader does NOT say “Simon says,” then they should not follow that command. When a child does the action without hearing “Simon says,” they sit out of the game. They also sit down if they don’t follow the command when the leader uses “Simon says.” Officially, the last child standing is the new leader. However, with young children (and larger groups), you may choose to switch leaders after a few minutes.
I Have… Who Has…?
Sneak some academics into your morning meeting game by playing I Have… Who Has…? There are SO many different themes for this card game: letters, numbers, shapes, money… The list goes on and on. They are quick and easy for kids to learn, making the perfect morning meeting games!
To play the game, you’ll need a set of specially prepared cards. Give each child at least one card. Typically, one card is marked as the first card. That player reads the question on the top, ex: “I have F. Who has j?” The remaining children look at their cards to see if they have J at the top of their card. The player who does reads their answer (“I have J.”) and their question (“Who has t?”) Play continues until all cards have been read.
Once students understand how the game works, they often enjoy timing themselves to see how fast they can get through all the cards. The following day they can play the identical game and see if they can be even faster!
This is a very quick and simple game. Students stand up and the teacher tells them how to group themselves:
- make groups of 4
- make groups of kids learning the same color
- make groups of kids who are the same age
Students move as quickly as they can to form the groups. This is a great activity when you are short on time!
Send one child into the hall, with the door shut. While child 1 is in the hall, point to another child who will hide somewhere in the classroom. Call child 1 back into the room to figure out who is missing.
This is another fun way to sneak in some academics with the morning meeting game. To play, you’ll need a number line. You can vary the numbers on the number line based on the students playing. (Sometimes you’ll work with numbers under 10 or under 20; other times you might use numbers 50-70.)
To play, the leader silently chooses a number. Students try to guess the number. Then the leader responds by telling them if the chosen number is higher or lower than the guess. To help keep track of guesses, you may have two players hold cards over then numbers. For instance, if 2 was too low, a card can over the number 2. If 14 was too high, another card can cover 14, When a child guesses 6 (also too low), the card from 2 can move to cover 6. In this way, the number gets “squeezed” out by the guesses, narrowing the range to choose from.
For this classic game, students sit in a circle. The teacher whispers a story to one child, for instance “The big snowman likes to skate on the long, icy river.” The first child whispers that same story to the next child. Kids continue “passing” the story around the circle, until it reaches the last child, who repeats the story out loud. Usually by this time, there have been some amusing changes to the original story! (Helpful hint: make sure the child who will be last won’t be devastated at the changes, thinking that everyone thinks that child was the only one who “made a mistake.”)
Try some of these morning meeting games in your classroom. You will love the simplicity of the games and your students will love how much fun they are!
Products mentioned in this post:
- I Have… Who Has…? Letter Names
- I Have… Who Has…? Shapes
- I Have… Who Has…? Numbers to 20
- I Have… Who Has…? Coins
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