Teachers and students love it when a whole class can work together to play and learn. Some games lend themselves to more people than the box indicates; often it is just a matter of ditching the game board and using the questions (Trivial Pursuit) or playing on teams.
The Apples to Apples card game requires students to use critical thinking and vocabulary skills as they compare and evaluate which word best fits into a given category Apples to Apples junior version for middle school students; the regular version is fine for gifted secondary students and junior high students. The game offers definitions for words so everyone can play, even if they have limited vocabularies. Apples to Apples is also time flexible and offers multiple playing options.
Catch Phrase is perfect for the whole class; it encourages fluent thinking and vocabulary connections. Catch Phrase Junior is perfect for middle school students; the regular version is an appropriate challenge for gifted students and junior high students. The Catch Phrase game device is passed around as students sit in a circle. They have to fill in a phrase by reading the machine, which also keeps score of the game. It requires 3 AAA batteries, so keep them handy for game days.
A version of this article was published on January 28, 2009 by Alex Sharp on Suite101. You can read more about great board games for classes, including large group, small group, and pair player games.