3 of my Favorite Ways to Review a History Unit


3 of my favorite activities to review a unit

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I like to keep myself and my students on our toes by not getting into an activities rut.  Today I’m sharing 3 of my favorite ways to review a topic.  You can read about some of my other go-to “get students engaged” strategies and ideas HERE and HERE (both prior posts), and my post from last week on 3 of my favorite ways to introduce a unit HERE.

1. If there are 30 students in the class, I will print out 6 images from the unit. I cut the images into 5 puzzle piece type pieces and mix all 30 cut up puzzle pieces in a box/bag/hat. Each student picks out one puzzle piece without looking, and when all the puzzle pieces have been picked, the students walk around the room trying to find the other pieces to complete their image.  Once each image has been put back together, the group has a few minutes to brainstorm what they know about the image, and how it played into the unit they just studied. They then present their image and its significance to the rest of the class.

2. Every few units I group the students up and have them make sample tests. I tell them that I will choose one or two questions from each review test to include in the actual test. When the tests are completed (it usually takes a whole class period), the students exchange their group’s test with another group and they attempt to answer the questions. The original groups then correct the tests and they all get turned in.

3. One of the other more popular review tactics I’ve used is to have students cast and outline a movie for a given a topic such as The War of the Roses. The students are grouped up and (as a sample) have to address:

a. who would be cast as the main characters in a movie about the topic
b. which historical events/people/themes would the plot focus on and why
c. which worldwide locations would you use to film the movie
d. would there be any unexpected plot twists; what and why
e. in what ways would the movie become more “Hollywood” than “History”
f. what kind of reviews would your movie get from critics and from the general public, what about from historians

I also love having my students make pamphlets because they can be so personalized, and a new favorite is Historical Hollywood Bus Tours!  Do you have a go-to review activity?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Here’s a BONUS activity, “True, False, Fix!”

6 replies »

  1. Thank you for sharing your ideas! One of the favorite reviews of my students is to play “Stump the Teacher.” This is especially humbling for me as I have not been teaching history for very long. Of course, that makes the kids love it even more! I let the students ask a question from the unit, but it can’t be about numbers such as what was the population of San Antonio in 1835. I tell them it needs to be a question that I would put on the test. We just go around the room one student at a time. I think I gave an extra credit point or a couch pass or something like that if a student stumps me.


  2. LOVE THESE IDEAS! I have two main games that I rotate during the year that my students REALLY love. One is called “Hotseat!” (adapted from my high school history teacher years ago!) and the other is called “Kings & Queens”.

    Hotseat involves student teams and rapid-fire questions related to the unit. SUPER fun and high energy!

    Kings and Queens involves students creating mini-tests ahead of time, then trying to stump one another as they sit in the front of the classroom on a “throne”. A slower-paced game but still fun and always one of my students’ favorites.

    If you (or anyone else reading this) is interested in checking them out, I’ll link them below.



    Thanks for another great post, Stephanie!



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