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Monday, May 25, 2015

Great Group Games that I have used in my orchestra class

I like to do games with my classes throughout the year.  Usually my games have something to do with rhythm or note-reading, but at the end of the year, I just want my students to bond and be friends and I want them to have fun together.  I found a few games on YouTube that were great fun.  The dollar store sells lightweight balls that don't hurt that are perfect for these games.  I also use lightweight dollar store balls for rhythm activities during the year, so it's nice to have them on hand.

GAME 1:  Air-Darts using straws and Q-tips.

My straws were extra wide from IKEA and the cotton swabs were really cheap from the dollar store.  This game doesn't last very long, and it worked better inside than outside.  First I divided the class into 2 teams and let them try to get all of their darts on other side of my classroom, but this got old quick.  After doing this game a couple times, I found that students had way more fun just running around and shooting each other.  (It really doens't hurt)  Then, we played 'tag' with the 'numbing' darts.  As soon as a students was hit, they were to freeze.  The last person wins the game.

GAME 2:  Human Battleship.

We played this game with various rules.  It's fun to change the rules after every game.  We played one time with the rules in the video, then we changed it so that a ship was only 'sunk' if they had a direct hit from the ball without catching it.

GAME 3: Quiet Ball

There is no video for this game, but I'll try to explain how it works.  I think this was my students' favorite game.  First, have students get a chair, place it anywhere they want in the classroom, then stand on the chair.  During the game, students have to be completely talking.  If a student talks, they have to sit down on their chair and they are 'out.'  To play the game, students throw the balls to who-ever they like and the person must catch the ball.  If the ball hits a person and they do not catch the ball, they are 'out' and must sit down.  The last person left on a chair is the winner.  I also added the rule that there can be NO face hits.  If a student gets hit in the face, the person who threw the ball is out.  Also, no throwing the ball as un-neccessarily hard.


  1. Hello,

    Thank you so much for this fantastic blog. It is such a great resource for me as a first year teacher (even more so as a clarinetist teaching orchestra). Every post is so insightful and I can't wait to incorporate lots of these ideas next year!


    1. I am so glad you are finding useful ideas on my blog. Happy teaching!