So, how do you play Would You Rather in a classroom? You can use this game in many ways, but let’s focus on the ways that actually make our lives easier: easy-to-implement and no-prep (#teacherlife). Below are five practical, easy, and fun ways to use Would You Rather prompts in your elementary classroom.
Morning Meeting Activity
One of the more traditional ways to use Would You Rather prompts is as a morning meeting activity. You can have students begin their day on a lighter note, with less pressure than a typical worksheet. For this activity, you could dedicate a specific day of the week to using Would You Rather prompts, such as a ‘Would You Rather Wednesday.’
You can display a slide with two different ‘Would You Rather’ options for students. For answers, you can select specified students daily, facilitate a classroom discussion, or even partner share. Incorporating Would You Rather in the classroom as a morning meeting activity also provides an opportunity to build community as students relate to one another!
Back to School, Getting to Know You Activity
A ‘getting to know you’ activity is such a fun way to use Would You Rather prompts! Students at the beginning of the year are often shy and reluctant to engage in conversation. Using Would You Rather prompts is low-pressure and doesn’t necessarily require lots of talking (but it can!). Use this activity as a way to incorporate the interests and personalities of all students.
You can use these as a quick icebreaker by displaying a slide that shows both options and allowing students to decide in various ways. One idea is to designate a specific side (left wall or right wall) of the classroom to represent option #1 and the opposite side of the classroom to represent option #2. Students answer by either moving to the right side of the room or the left side. Here, they can talk amongst themselves to discover what they have in common with their classmates.
Another idea is to have all students stand in a circle and share their opinions with the whole group or with an elbow buddy. This method adds more pressure since everyone is basically staring at each other, but it allows students to ‘put a face to the name’ and be introduced to their classmates more quicker.
Opinion Writing Prompts
Would You Rather prompts are a fantastic opportunity for students to practice stating their opinion. Having students express their opinion and provide reasons to defend themselves helps them understand the difference between fact and opinion; what an opportunity to incorporate a concrete, real-life learning experience! When used as a quick write, these prompts can be super engaging and motivate students actually to write.
You can use these to kick off your opinion writing unit by displaying a slide with both options and a sentence starter for additional support. Students can share with a partner first. Then, you’ll want to record whole-group results either on an anchor chart or a blank SmartBoard page. Help students understand this difference between fact and opinion by requiring 2-3 defending reasons from either side.
By far, the most engaging way to use Would You Rather prompts is as a brain break. Sometimes you just need pure FUN – no pressure or worksheet follow-up! I love incorporating movement in my classroom, as I know you do. Whether it’s after a state-wide standardized testing session, between subjects, during Winter when the class is in chaos right before Winter break, or to kill 5 minutes of extra time before lunch, Would You Rather slides make one of the best brain breaks!
The key is to make the choices entertaining enough to spark instant engagement (and perhaps laughter)! Display a slide with an entertaining selection of options for students. Allow them to move around the room to search for someone with an opposite opinion to discuss or defend their choice. You can even play a sort of ‘musical chairs’ by playing music and having students pair up with the nearest classmate once the music stops to discuss their opinion. Whatver you do, make it funnnn!
Discussion starters are an excellent way to provide speaking and listening opportunities, especially for English Learners. You can take it a step further and add picture supports for each option. Again, it’s a very low-stakes talking task for students to complete. You, as the teacher, don’t have to do much facilitating, either.
Consider designating part of the day, such as the end of the day, to practicing speaking and listening. Partner students ahead of time so that each pair contains at least one strong speaker. Display the slide with Would You Rather options and let each team of students communicate their response. Consider setting a timer to make it even less pressure. Have students share at least one thing their partner said with the whole group.
Using Would You Rather in the Classroom
There are many activities in which you can implement Would You Rather prompts. It’s best to have pre-made slides that you can pop on the screen, so you’re not coming up with ideas on the fly.
The good news is I’ve already prepared 25 pre-made slides WITH blank templates for you to implement Would You Rather in the classroom! If you want to personalize the questions, use the templates to add engaging prompts according to your students’ interests!