1-2 minutes to spare
Guess 1 minute
Get students to put their head down on the desk and raise it when 1 minute is up. The closest to the 60sec mark wins. Play it again if time permits and discuss why they didn’t guess correctly.
3 minutes to spare
Magic Piece of paper
To get the students to clean the room, tell them you have found a magic piece of paper. The person that picks it up will be revealed once the room is clean and will receive a sticker.
5 minutes to spare (These activities can go for as long as you would like them to)
Whisper to students a direction for them to act out silently. The person that guesses right gets to be the next mime.
Use spelling or themed word and put _ _ _ _ spaces on the board for students to guess a letter. Each wrong letter is a line towards drawing a Hangman or draw a House instead to be a little more politically correct.
Heads down, Thumbs up
4 or 5 students are chosen to stand up at the front of the class. The students at their desks close their eyes, put their heads down on the desk with their thumbs poking up beside their ears. The chosen students pick a child each by pushing their thumbs down and then return to the front of the class. The chosen students stand up and guesses who chose them. If they guess correctly they get to swap places with the person who chose them and have a turn at the front of the class.
Students stand silently and throw a ball to each other. If they talk, drop the ball or do a bad pass they have to sit down. The winner is last person standing. You can add in actions such as stand on one foot, keep your hand behind your back etc.
Students act out a movie, TV show or book; breaking up the title into words and acting out each word without speaking.
Eye spy with my little eye, something beginning with… F. This is great to reinforce students’ letter sound knowledge
10 minutes to spare
Students talk on a given or chosen topic for 1 minute trying not to say “um”. Keep tally of how many “ums” are said and the winner is the student with the least “ums”. Suggested topics- Friends, should students have homework, recycling, should we have a 3 day weekend, bananas etc.
Last Letter Game
Using a topic (names, food, animal, sport, celebrity, country etc.) students in a circle will say a word then the next student needs to use the last letter of the word to choose their next word. E.g., Boys Names – Ben, Noah, Harrison, Neil, Luke etc. Animals – Dog, Goat, Tiger, Rabbit, Turtle, etc.
Three people at the front of the class are given a celebrity name to guess, and this is written behind their head. They can only ask ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions for the class to answer.
On the board, write down 10-15 different topics. On a piece of paper, students write down the numbers 1-10 or 15 and have 1 minute to answer each topic according to a certain letter that is called out. Topics could include boys/girls name, food, animal, vehicle, sport, actor, dessert, country, gift, job, TV show, singer, fruit, vegetable, city, song, drink, etc. Students call out answers but only get a point if no one else has that answer.
Mr Squiggle (my personal favourite)
One student is chosen to be the judge and stands outside the door. The teacher draws a simple picture (e.g., circle, cross, wavy line) 3 times on the board. Three children are chosen to draw and they must create a picture using the squiggle.
The audience are the timekeepers and need to watch the clock for when 1 minute is up. The three children return to their desks, remaining anonymous so the judge can show no bias. The judge comes back and rubs off the two drawings he likes least, leaving his favourite on the board. The winner becomes the next judge.