The Vocab Games: Jeff Ertzberger’s PowerPoint Games

A great vocabulary game resource that I revisit is Jeff Ertzberger’s PowerPoint games site. Jeff Ertzberger serves as the Director of Technology for UNC-Wilmington’s Watson College of Education.  Ertzberger’s site also features game boards that he has created with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.  It has visual timers too.  You should definitely check it out because you will be sure to find something you can use!

Here are some students favorites:

Big Wheel


Big Wheel features a wheel that the teacher or a student clicks to spin.  There are several point values on each wedge of the wheel (think Wheel of Fortune).  There is also a space on the screen to record points for up to eight teams.  It is easy for the teacher to say a definition or example, and then allow a team to come up with the correct vocabulary term. When correct, the wheel is spun for points.  There is one caveat. The wheel always chooses point values in the same order each time you play, so I suggest rapidly clicking several times to randomize the point values.

The Racing Games

car_racev2aThere are two racing games that Dr. Ertzberger has developed. One features a car race (Beach Rally), and the other is a horse race.  The teacher can divide the class into teams.  Each time a team responds correctly, the teacher can have their car/horse advance forward.  When the car or horse crosses the finish line, a team wins!

Sunken Treasure

sunkentreasurev2Many teachers say that Sunken Treasure is their students’ favorite game.  After student teams identify a term, they can choose a number between 1 and 36 on the game board grid.  Under one of the squares is the sunken treasure.  When it is found, the game ends. There are ten versions of boards to choose from, so the treasure can always be in a different spot.

Although many people may consider PowerPoint “old-school” technology, these games demonstrate innovative ways that PowerPoints can be designed to engage students.  Have you used PowerPoint in a particularly interesting way with students? Do you know of any other sites where PowerPoint Games can be found?  Please share resources and ideas in the comments.

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