Connect Four

This game, designed as a whole-class activity managed by you via a whiteboard, is arguably more like Blockbusters than Connect Four.  All students really enjoy playing it, so it’s a great way of consolidating knowledge.  This template was created by Matthew Kennard and posted on the TES website some years ago, but it has certainly stood the test of time.  It runs through Excel and is very simple to use.  As with most things, it does take a while to set up, but once this has been done it can be used again and again and again, so the effort is well worth making.

Connect Four

When you download the template (link below), you will find that it has two tabs – “Board” and “Questions”.  You need to start by creating 45 questions – one has been done for you as an example.  Creating these questions is the time-consuming part!

Once you are ready to play a game, click on “board” and press “new game”: 25 of the questions will be selected at random, and the opening letter to each answer will be displayed.  Up to four teams can play at once, each taking on a certain colour.  Their task is to connect four letters in a straight line – horizontal, vertical or diagonal – by correctly answering the relevant questions.  Each time they get an answer right, click on their colour to show that this square can no longer be claimed by anyone else.

Many students enjoy the strategy element to this game – keeping an eye on what opponents are up to and doing everything they can to block them.  If all teams are prevented from achieving a Connect Four, then the team with the most correct answers is declared the winner.

Each game can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes, so it might be wise to set a time limit before you start.  Each time you press “new game” a new selection of questions is made – some of these will have appeared before, so pupils soon realise that it pays to stay focussed!

If you like the sound of this, click here to downloads the template: Connect Four

Simple Starters # 3 – Demolition

This starter provides a quick and enjoyable way to establish or consolidate knowledge, and could therefore work equally well as a plenary.

The following PowerPoint is available as a template from Mr Hayes. Each brick contains a key word which answers a specific question. These questions appear on the subsequent Powerpoint screens.


Split the class into two or more teams, then alternate between each team as you ask the questions you have prepared. If a pupil identifies the correct answer, that brick is removed from the wall and their team scores a point. Behind the wall is an important image from the topic. This is gradually revealed as the wall is demolished – three bonus points go to the first team to correctly identify the image.