Learn the categories of your topic using the four walls of your classroom.
Four different flashcards of wide categories within your topic, e.g. for Seasons: spring, autumn, summer, winter.
Sticky tack or tape.
Ask the class for two seasons in the year (e.g. spring and winter).
Stick these flashcards on two opposing walls (let the children decide which walls).
Say ‘Spring’ and all the children walk or run, and touch that wall. Do the same with winter.
Add the two remaining flashcards and keep playing.
Get the children to add an action for each separate wall (e.g. picking flowers in spring).
Let a child lead the game.
Say unplanned phrases, e.g. ‘Butterflies!’ for spring or ‘Make a snowball’ for winter. The children then have to guess which wall each phrase belongs to.
You could ask these as questions, e.g. ‘When do we have butterflies?’.
From their tables, the children simply point to the relevant wall. They can also do actions from their tables.
Play for your topic
Make each wall a different letter (e.g. l, m, n, o). To extend, say any word that begins with these letters (e.g. lion, mouse, November, octopus). The children could come up with actions at the same time.
Make each wall a food group (e.g. meat, fruit, vegetables, dairy). Play. Then ask children for foods in these groups and how to prepare this food (e.g. roasting a chicken, peeling an apple, chopping an onion, stirring milk). For the extension, call out any foods within these groups.
Make each wall a sense and have a corner as a fifth wall (i.e. sight, hearing, taste, etc.). Play. Add actions for each sense (look through a telescope, listen to music on headphones, taste the cake, smell the coffee, stroke the cat). For the extension, call out other actions involving these senses.
Play as described above.
Make each wall a weather (e.g. sun, rain, wind, snow). Ask children for what we might do in each weather (wear a hat, use an umbrella, rake the leaves, make a snowman). For the extension, call out any other actions (throw a snowball, hold onto your hat…).
Play with just three walls: land, air and water. Play. Ask children for different forms of these transports (e.g. a car for land). For the extension, call out phrases like ‘Honk your horn!’ or ‘Ready for take-off’.
Make each wall a room in the house (e.g. living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen). Play. Then ask for different things we do in these rooms (e.g. cook, play with my sister, etc.). For the extensions, call out any actions or objects for these rooms (e.g. ‘watch TV’ or ‘make a cake’).
Make each wall a material (e.g. wood, plastic, glass and metal). Play. Then ask children for different things made of these materials (e.g. table, water bottle, window and car), and for actions. For the extension, call out any objects made from these materials.