Game-based Learning for High Schoolers


Continuing on my quest to find educational games that are useful, I decided to focus on finding sites that work well for high schoolers.  Engagement in school tends to drop rapidly starting in middle school and continuing through high school, so it’s really important to find ways to keep students interested in what they’re learning.  As I said in my previous two blogs, game-based learning is a great way to keep students naturally engaged, and we all know that teenagers like to spend a lot of time on their electronics as well.

After researching games for a few weeks, I’ve come to conclude that there are a lot more games for elementary level students than anything else.   However, after combing through many sites, I’ve been able to find several that will be great for our older students.

For Science:

Created by a highly reputable source, this site includes games such as The Blood Typing Game, The Immune System Game, and the Split Brain Game, among others.  Many of the games require small amounts of reading before the user can play to ensure that they know that material.  The games are simple, but effectively convey tough scientific concepts.

For Math:

Although somewhat limited in range of topics, this site has a variety of games for high school math.  I tested out “Algebra vs. the Cockroaches,” a game that quickly required me to find coordinates on a graph in order to shoot cockroaches with my weapon of choice (a rocket in my case).

For English:

It’s the first one that comes up on Google when you type in “High School Vocabulary Games,” but after looking around for quite a bit, I realized it was for a reason. This site has simple games but on wide variety of topics related to vocabulary. Some of the games that I tried out included the synonym matching game, the phonics game (I had to divide a word into its parts) and the Latin-English matching game.  This site is good for students with all different ability levels and includes SpEd options.

For Social Studies:

This site provided games to help learn basic world geography—something that many student leave high school without really knowing.

This site provides timed social studies vocabulary games.  I played a few and it made me realize that I need to brush up!

For Foreign Language:

I am already using this application at home to advance my Spanish skills!  It is similar to Rosetta Stone in its approach and requires that students use all language modalities: reading, writing, speaking, listening, and grammar.  I like it so far, and my owl language coach emails me if I didn’t do my job that day.

For Test Prep:

Zero Hour Threat is an interactive action game created to improve upon  ACT and SAT standardized test scores while boosting the user’s general mathematics and vocabulary skills. With each correct answer, the user moves one step closer to decoding a virus that international criminals have set in place to infect the United States’ banking systems.

I already mentioned this site for social studies, but it has a session that is designed specifically to teach SAT vocabulary.  I learned that the words “blandish,” “obsequious,” and “officious,” by playing a timed matching game.

Although I was able to find several useful games for high schoolers, it looks like this really is an area of opportunity for the gaming industry.  Feel free to comment on this blog post if you have any other games that you’ve come across that you’d like to share with our readers.  I look forward to learning more about what’s out there!