A game for fun and for educators to use for review and test prep, Around the World is easy to play and works well with any size group. There are several variations, all of which we cover in this comprehensive article. The game can last as long as you wish, or makes an excellent, short, time-filler at the end of class or party. We will tell you how to play and provide some examples to get you started.
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How to Play Around the World as a Party Game
Adults and teens will enjoy playing Around the World at your next party or get-together. Some of the players have probably participated in this game before and will know how to play it. The others will need to keep playing until they figure it out.
The goal of the game is to spell out the words “Around the World.” Therefore, the first player must know how the game is played.
Have all the players sit in a circle. Your players will be naming places they wish to visit. The first player names a place that starts with A, such as Australia. The second person needs to say the name of a place that begins with R. If they do not, they are out of the game. The next player then says a place that begins with R – maybe Rome. The third player must name a place that begins with O – Ohio will work. Eventually, everyone catches on to what is happening in the game, although it might take one or two rounds depending upon the size of your group. There really is no winner or loser; this is just a fun game.
Around the World Classroom Game
Many of us have played this classic review game in school. Around the World works for any subject matter or class in grades three through twelve. The students not only find the game fun, but Around the World also refreshes their memories about course content.
How to Play Around the World in the Classroom
Most classrooms have their seats arranged in rows, the perfect configuration for an Around the World game. The goal is for a student to go all the way around the room and get back to their own seat first. The player who does so, wins the game.
Step #1 Explain the game, demonstrating how it is played if necessary.
Step #2 Begin at the front of the classroom at the first seat in a row. The student from that seat stands next to the next seated student.
Step #3 Show both students a card with a review question.
Step #4 The first student to say the correct answer gets to move to the next seated student.
Step #5 The student who loses sits down.
Step #6 If a student answers five consecutive questions, they sit down and play begins with two new challenges.
Play continues, with the winner moving on and the losers sitting down. This continues until one student makes it back to his or her original seat. That student is the winner of the game.
If you have a hyper class, try the following suggestions for playing Around the World in your classroom:
- Let both or all students stand, and only have those who have lost one round sit down.
- Show the question to the whole class using an overhead projector or computer-generated image.
- To prevent students from shouting out multiple incorrect answers, make the rule that students may only answer once. If their answer is incorrect, the other student gets an opportunity to think and answer correctly. If they both answer incorrectly, ask another question.
- Give a very small token for correct answers. Set a time for playing, and when the game is over, the student with the most tokens wins. This works especially well for a very large class.
- Around the World is perfect for indoor recess time.
- Use this game at the end of the day and dismiss kids as they get a right answer.
- Laminate the cards you use and they will last for years.
- You can check curriculum guides for questions and add them throughout the school year.
- If both students are unable to answer the question, you can ask for hands from those who know it, and choose one student. If they are correct, they get to move to the next desk.
- This is a good game for any time you need a ten-minute filler.
- Although Around the World is best played in a classroom with desks, you can have students sit in a circle, and have the other student stand behind their competitor.
Suggested Topics for Classroom Around the World
- Math or Science Facts
- Grammar – parts of speech
- Vocabulary – definitions and spelling
- History Facts – who, what, when, where
- S. States and Capitals
- The Presidents
- Sight Words
Information for Teacher Lesson Plans
- Review content and skills.
- Learn listening skills.
Preparation for Play
No two questions will have the same answer. You will be writing only a question on the first card. On the second card, write the first answer and question #2. Continue this way, writing the answer to the previous question on one side of the card, and a new question on the other. On the last card, write only the answer to the previous question.
To play, shuffle all of the cards and pass them out. The student with only a question on their card begins by reading the question. Whichever student has the answer reads it out loud and then reads the question on their card. Play continues this way until the last answer – the one with no question on the card.
Give a quiz with ten of the questions posed in the game. Each student should answer at least 8 of the 10 questions correctly.
Around the World makes an excellent game for every age. Try it with trivia at a party or Bible verses at a devotional. Whether you are a host looking for a good icebreaker or a teacher wanting to review with a class, you will find Around the World a perfect, fun game that you will use over and over. Enjoy!
Susan majored in English with a double minor in Humanities and Business at Arizona State University and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Liberty University. She taught grades four through twelve in both public and private schools. Subjects included English, U.S. and world history and geography, math, earth and physical science, Bible, information technologies, and creative writing.
Susan has been freelance writing for over ten years, during which time she has written and edited books, newspaper articles, biographies, book reviews, guidelines, neighborhood descriptions for realtors, Power Point presentations, resumes, and numerous other projects.