King of the Tire

** Tip: While King of the Tire was originally designed for spelling, it can also be adapted for elementary math by simply asking students equations, for example, 4×4, instead of spelling a word.

Created by: Project H volunteer designers, in collaboration with educators in and around the San Francisco Bay Area

Last one standing is the King of the Tire!

Age group: Grades K-5, Ages 4-9

Number of students recommended: 25 students maximum

Subjects/skills learned: Spelling, basic math (Could be adapted to address other subjects such as math, history, science, geography, etc.)

Object of the game: Spell words correctly to remain standing on the tire; try to be the last one left standing!

Setup: Students each stand on top of a tire. Each student must also bring paper and a pen.

Game Play: The teacher says a word to spell for the class. Each students has 30 seconds to spell the word. Using their pen and paper, students will write their answer down. Once the 30 seconds is up, students raise their paper in the air, and the teacher calls out the correct spelling. Students who answer correctly get to stay standing on their tire. Students who answer incorrectly must sit down on their tire.

The game proceeds with the next question. At this point, if a student answers the question incorrectly, the student must then sit on the ground and they are out of the game (essentially, students are only out if they spell two words incorrectly in a row). If a student answers correctly and they are standing, they will continue standing. If a student answers correctly, and they are sitting, they get to stand up on the tire again.

Repeat questions (can substitute other subject questions in place of spelling words).

Game Conclusion: The games end when the last student is standing on the tire.

Examples: After 12 spelling words, there are two remaining students standing on a tire (Student #1 and #2), two students sitting on the tire (Student #3 and #4), and the rest of the students sitting on the ground (they are out). The teacher says a word – Student #1 (standing) answers correctly, Student #2 (standing) answers incorrectly, and Student #3 (sitting) answers correctly, and Student #4 answers incorrectly. Student #1 remains standing, Student #2 sits on the tire, and Student #3 stands up, and Student #4 sits on the ground and is out.

Student #1 (standing), #2 (sitting), and #3 (standing) are still in the game. The teacher says the next word to spell. Students #1 spells the word incorrectly, they sit down on the tire. Student #2 spells the word incorrectly, they sit on the ground and are out of the game. Student #3 spells the word correctly and they remain standing and they are the last student standing – Student #3 wins and is King of the Tire!

Tips and Variations:

  • To speed the game up, a student must sit on the ground (and is out of the game) after one incorrectly spelled word.
  • Substitute other subject and subject matter in for spelling words (math equations, historical facts, geography, etc.) – making it a quiz game for any subject.
  • Split the students into five teams, with each team occupying a row of tires – they now compete as teams. Whichever team still has students standing on a tire, wins.

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