Although there are many elaborate review games out there I only use one – I call it The Game. I did not invent it however I have modified it over the years to be something that works for many grade levels, many contents and many situations. Students always, always love it. The only downside is that it can get so loud your colleagues will wonder what the heck is going on in your room.
- a small whiteboard for each row in your classroom (like the kind commonly used in math classes)
- dry erase markers
- a roll of paper towels to use as cheap-o erasers
Teams sit in the same rows (from front of the room to back of the room) and come up with a name for themselves. I give them 90 seconds to think of a name and if they fail to do so or if the name is inappropriate I give them a name (the “electric pink chipmunk eaters” or the “puking pigeons” etc.). Write each team name on the front board and keep a running tally of points under each name. The whiteboards, markers and paper towels are then passed to the very back of the room and held by the last person in each team’s row.
You ask a question and the teams race to write a legible answer on their whiteboards and then pass them to the front of the room. The students in the first row hold up their team’s answer. Anyone on the team can write the answer, not just the last person. So if the last person doesn’t know they just pass the whiteboard up to the teammate that remembers the answer. Two points for the first team with the correct answer at the front and one point for each correct answer that isn’t first to the front. After each questions students move up a desk so that students are constantly on the move both by having to pass the whiteboard and switch desks after each question. This is the beauty of The Game – forced engagement and physical activity.
A few tips: Have students practice with a couple of questions before you start keeping score. This allows them to get the swing of things in a low pressure context. Take off points for trash-talking classmates as well as arguing with you about who was first or legibility issues, etc.
Any other review games folks like to use?