College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Covid card game helps pupils return to school

Packs of cards for playing Covid charades are being distributed to primary schools to help pupils acclimatise to their new classroom environmen

Education experts have developed the game to give schools across Scotland a tool that enables children to better understand the science associated with coronavirus.

The packs are also designed to help pupils talk about the new social guidelines they must follow in class.

Supporting pupils

Packs include 30 cards, each with a word and image linked to the pandemic – such as vaccine, lockdown and bubble – as well as instructions and background information for teachers.

The game, developed at the University of Edinburgh, mimics traditional charades where one person communicates a word or phrase to others tasked with guessing the answer.

Cards can also be adapted for a variety of other games that support new and returning pupils.

Games have been developed by experts working in educational technology and exhibition design. Clinical psychologists have also contributed to the production of the cards.

Packs have been inspired by a £1.8million initiative called Move2Learn, funded by Wellcome Trust, the UK’s Economic Social Research Council and the National Science Foundation in the US.

Move2Learn has produced similar types of games to promote understanding of science and technology subjects among children by encouraging them share knowledge through gestures.


Pupils will be returning from potentially very different home environments, but these cards can bring young people together to talk about Covid in an engaging and potentially fun way.

Dr Andrew ManchesThe Centre for Research in Digital Education

Teachers can nominate their school to receive a pack on a first come, first served basis. It can also be downloaded for free or purchased.

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