I think dice are an essential part of any teacher’s toolkit.
I always keep a bag of 15 dice in my bag because they are so versatile. 15 dice may seem like a lot but for me it is the perfect amount. I always have enough dice if I am playing games that require multiple dice or if I am working with large classes.
There are a lot of different ways that dice can be used in the classroom. They are a great way of randomizing vocabulary, practicing grammar structures, and playing games.
There are also a lot of different types of dice. Dice with more faces. Dice with questions words and story dice.
What do you do if you want to create your own dice? Well, you can write a list from 1 to 6 and write down what you want each face to represent or you can try making your own PowerPoint dice.
I originally tried out PowerPoint dice because I wanted to make some large dice that would be easily visible in large classes and I could use them to model activities. I also wanted dice that I could insert into presentations rather than having to use a separate app. However, as I was making them, I realized how easy it would be to create any kind of dice I needed.
- Download the Dice Pack
- Different Types of Dice
- Creating Your Own Dice
- Adding Your Dice to Your Presentation
- How It Works
Download the Dice Pack
Download the PowerPoint Dice Pack.
Open the PowerPoint and you will see 6 dice. The dice are actually looped videos. Just copy the dice you need and paste the dice into your own presentation.
Tip: Click on the video dice to roll them. Click on them again to stop them.
Different Types of Dice
I have included 3 standard dice in the pack. There is a white dice, a red dice and a blue dice.
It’s easy to create more dice colors though. Click on the video and go to the format ribbon. Click on color and select a new color for your video.
This kind of dice can be used for a whole range of activities.
Question Word Dice
A colleague of mine actually owns one of these. I quite liked it and as I haven’t been able to find my own yet, I thought I would try and make my own digital version. The dice uses the questions words what, where, when, why, who and how.
This kind of dice is perfect for practicing follow up questions and developing conversations.
Last year, Mike Astbury from Teaching Games EFL wrote an interesting post about Story Cubes. I really wanted to buy some because I thought they would be great for writing activities, so I made a mental note to buy them sometime in the future.
A few weeks passed and I was out doing some Christmas shopping and I found something similar in a store near where I live. I put it down as a small Christmas present to myself.
I tried them out in a few classes and they worked really well. I only have the six dice though and a large class. I had to use an OHP at the time, so I thought a PowerPoint version might also be helpful. Also, I might want to try out some new images in the future (see sources) or use images related to what we studied in our course books.
Topic dice are great for generating conversation.
Go through your course book if you have one and write the main themes or topics on the dice face. Use it for small talk at the beginning of classes, as an activity for review classes or prompts for discussion.
Instead of topics you could try making dice based on the vocabulary in your books. Combine it with a question word dice and ask students to formulate a question using the two dice. Or you could design a conjugation dice and students have to conjugate the verb into the correct tense.
A great way to drill grammar structures.
The verb dice isn’t included in the dice pack, but you can see how to make it in the next section – Create Your Own Dice.
You can create any kind of dice you can imagine.
What about a directions dice? A dice that uses arrows or phrases for giving directions. With 5 or 6 dice like this, students could be challenged to give directions based on a roll of the dice.
What about a dice for parts of speech? This would be great for eliciting vocabulary.
What about alphabet dice for spelling games?
What about an activity dice? A dice that uses your students’ favorite activities.
What about a reward dice for classroom management?
There are so many possibilities.
Creating Your Own Dice
The PowerPoint Dice is actually a video. This tutorial will show you how to create the dice and export your presentation to video.
First, you need to download the Blank Dice Template. Open the template, watch the tutorial below and follow the instructions.
Video run time is 1 minute 56 seconds
- Once you have opened the blank dice template, go to the insert ribbon
- Click on Word Art and choose a style
- Type your text and format it. Change its font and size.
- Adjust the position of the text by going to the format ribbon. Click on align objects and choose center alignment (c) and middle alignment (m).
- Copy the slide as many times as you need and change the text on the duplicate slides.
- Go to file and click on export.
- Choose export to video and save your file.
- That’s it!
Although I have used text in this video, you could also make a picture dice using images from ELTpics.
Adding Your Dice to Your Presentation
This tutorial shows you how to insert your video dice into your presentation, format the size and shape of the video as well as adding some effects and changing some of the video settings.
Video run time is 1 minute 41 seconds
- Insert your dice video
- Go to insert ribbon and click on insert video, or
- Drag and drop your video into your presentation
- Click on the format ribbon and adjust the size of the dice.
- Click on video shape and select rounded rectangle.
- Click on video effects and select a 3D present and shadow preset.
- Go to the playback ribbon and select looped until stopped.
- Position your dice on your slide and start your presentation.
- Click on the dice to roll them.
- Click on them again to stop them.
- That’s it!
How It Works
This graphic highlights the two tips you need to create your own looped videos. Set the automatic transition and export to video. After that, just insert your video and make sure stopped until looped is checked.
How do you use dice in your class? If you have any activities that you would like to share, please leave a comment.
Thanks for reading and take care!
The images used on the story dice come from the Webdings font. It is pre-installed font for most Windows PCs since Windows 98. It was designed by Vincent Connare, Sue Lightfoot, Ian Patterson and Geraldine Wade.
You may also like to read:
Lucky Dip – This was a post I wrote last year that used the same technique of automatic slide transition. It was a useful way to create random generators.
Random Choices – This post was an Excel random word generator that I have used before to practice grammar structures.
I have used dice as both the singular and the plural in this article. Although dice is the plural of die, it is not uncommon to use dice to refer to the singular. Oxforddictionaries.com cites the example of ‘throw the dice’ as being vague of whether it is one dice or many. Although there are some sites that maintain the distinction, there are other, like this learner’s dictionary that define it as singular. Personally, I prefer dice over die.