This review competition is NO PREP and can take as few as 5 minutes or as many as 15, it depends on if you ask follow-up questions and how in depth the students’ responses get.
I start by writing the main topics we studied on the board. Each is in a different color and corresponds to one “team” (to make it easier I just make each row of seats a team, but I also move students as necessary to keep the teams as even as possible). Each team gets the white board marker color corresponding to their topic. I typically tell them whichever team wins gets 3 extra credit points on that day’s activity. Of course that is totally optional.
I tell my students they will have 2 minutes (or 2.5, it depends on the topics and students) to fill in their topic with as many words or phrases that they remember from when we studied it. The first time we do it I tell them spelling doesn’t count (especially because they get so excited and are racing each other AND the clock). (Going forward spelling counts).
I set a timer and when I’m ready to start I say, “ready, set, GO” and the first student in each row runs up to the board and writes a word or short phrase related to their topic. Then they go back to their row, give the marker to the next student, then that student goes up to the board, writes a word or phrase (a DIFFERENT one), and so on and so forth. The kids fill in their column as much as they can within the time allotted.
When the time is up we go through each column one at a time. The students say if each term/phrase is in the correct column, and if not, where it should in fact be (you can see below, Stephen Austin and de Zavala written in the Exploration column, but I crossed it out and my kids said they were from the Colonization unit).
As we go through each column I ask questions about some of the items, like describe 3 challenges faced by the Old 300, or who was the person who issued the grito, or in the third picture which was from US History, what was the purpose of the Proclamation Line of 1763, which colonies were considered Middle Colonies, how was the Albany Plan of Union a success and a failure, etc. After we go through each column, I write the total number correct terms/phrases on top of each topic and whichever column has the most is the winner.
No matter what grade level I’ve taught or in which state, students LOVE LOVE LOVE competing against each other. This is SUCH an easy, yet engaging, review game. Having your kids determine which column has the most correct answers themselves, rather than the teacher tallying them up, makes it an even more valuable review. If you get the chance to try this out I hope your students will love it as much as mine do.
If you like this review strategy, I have 15+ other introduction and review strategies detailed in my Back to School Social Studies Teacher Bundle, and a few are highlighted in THIS earlier post and THIS one. To read about two of my students other favorite review games click HERE or HERE.
Do you have a review technique your students love? I’d love to read about it in the comments 🙂
What an interactive and fun way to review! Thanks for sharing!
Heather from Mrs. Renz’ Class
You’re very welcome! I hope your students enjoy it if you try it out 🙂
Very creative! I love it!
Thanks Dawn, that means a lot coming from you!!!
I tried this last week and my 8th graders loved it, thanks for a great idea!
You’re welcome! I’m so glad it worked well for your class!!!
Sounds like a great idea and I’ll try it this week. I was wondering if you had a variant version where each team has one marker and you make the same columns for different topics but the students can write in any column? I’m just thinking for end of the year review and while there is competition to put up the most terms/phrases, etc. but the students can also all help each other fill in all columns.
I hope your kids enjoy it Jason! I haven’t tried it like that but I think it’s a great idea, and would make it a more even playing field especially if some topics are smaller than others, I’ll have to try that out this coming year.
I played this game with my sixth grade Texas History students and my 7th grade U.S. History students this morning. The 6th graders liked it, but the 7th graders *loved* it. It was a good way to question the students about items I thought were most important, asking the student who wrote down the word to tell a bit more about it. I think all the running helped release some of the tension building up to semester exams starting tomorrow! Thank you again.
I’m so happy that it went especially well with your 7th graders Diane, thank you so much for letting me know 🙂 Good luck getting through exams! Mine start tomorrow too 🙂
I 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 this great post!