By Teachers, For Teachers
Reviewing material can be so boring. Not only is it boring for you to teach, but think about how your students feel! When reviewing for a unit or state exam, try to incorporate activities and classroom games that engage students, not bore them. The trick is to make it so much fun that the students don’t even realize they are reviewing material. Try a few of these teacher-tested ideas below, they will have the material mastered before you know it.
Turn review time into fun time with games. A review game is the perfect solution to get students working together. Here are a few to try out.
Jeopardy! – This fun game can be done using the Smartboard, PowerPoint, or just on the blackboard. You can find downloadable Jeopardy formats on the Internet, or create own. To begin, create questions and answers worth a specific amount of points. Divide the students into two teams and have each team choose a number. Their goal is to answer the question that is attached to the number they chose.
Pass the Chicken – You will need to purchase a rubber chicken for this fun review game. To begin, have students sit in a circle. Randomly ask one student a review question while the rubber chicken gets passed around the circle. If the rubber chicken arrives back at the student before he/she answers they must go to the middle (the pot) of the circle. The chicken is then passed to the next person, and so on. If the next student does not get the answer correct, then ask the students in the “pot” if they know the answer. If they do, then they may get out of the pot and go back to the circle. Be sure to enlist a few safety rules, the students can tend to get rough with the rubber chicken.
Monopoly – For this review game, each student is on his own, there are no teams. Each student receives the same amount of Monopoly money. They are allowed to wager their money based on how confident they know the answer to the review question you ask. If they get the question correct, they keep the money, if they are wrong their money goes to the next person who gets the answer correct. At the end of the game they can cash their money in for prizes.
The Hot Seat – For this review game, have one student sit facing the class. Write a vocabulary word on the board behind their seat. The audience raises their hands and the “Hot Seat” student can call on three students for clues to guess the word. Change the “Hot Seat” student if they don’t get the word correct.
Ping Pong – Divide students into two teams. Students work as a team to answer a review question. Then, if they answer it correctly they get a chance to bounce a ball into one of three plastic cups to get a prize for their team. Prizes can be a homework pass, free time, extra computer time, lunch in the classroom, and so on.
Family Feud – Divide students into two teams. One person from each team must go against one another to answer a review question. If they get it right their team gets a point. To engage the other students while they are playing, have the rest of the team write the answers to the questions in their journals.
Bingo – Review bingo is another classroom favorite. To change it up a bit, use candy as the markers. Have students program their bingo cards with their vocabulary words and pull questions randomly.
Beach Ball – Purchase a white beach ball and write a variety of review questions on the ball. Then have students sit on top of their desks. The goal of this game is to play catch. When a student catches the ball, the must answer the question their right thumb is touching.
Headbands – A fun spin on the popular game headbands is to write a review term on a post-it note. Each student must stick the note to her forehead without looking at it. Their goal is to figure out what the term on the forehead is. For example, if one person had the word “nectar” on his sticky note, their team members would give them clues, such as a sugar-rich liquid, it attracts pollinating animals, and so on.
Spin the Wheel – Create a wheel with a variety of review questions on it. Then randomly call upon students to come up and spin the wheel to see if they can answer the question correctly.
There are a lot of great review games out there. Anyone that you choose will help students learn the material. Just make sure that you keep anything that you make yourself so can reuse it again next year.
What are you favorite review activities to do with students? Please share your ideas in the comment section below. We would love to hear your thoughts.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.