7 Review Games that Won’t Waste Your Time
In the last post, 8 Ways to Help Students Prepare for Exams, I mentioned that playing games can be a great way to review. That’s because games can provide a good change of pace for students while keeping them engaged.
The issue, however, is that when it’s time to review for a test, there is no time to waste. And I am always concerned that we don’t waste precious time on a game when the students desperately need to review the material.
Fortunately, we can do both. By choosing games that focus on the questions themselves while spending minimal time on the “game” part, we can add some fun into our test prep without sacrificing the review.
Review Games that Use Time Effectively:
- Just give points: Simply divide the class into two (or more) teams and start asking questions. Call on the first hand raised, and if he’s right, give his team a point. If he’s wrong, the other teams get a chance to answer. Keep a tally on the board, and the team with the most points at the end wins.
- Personal whiteboards: If you’re able to invest a little money, purchase mini whiteboards and dry erase markers, enough for each student. You ask questions, and the students write the answers on their boards and hold them up. The first correct answer wins a point. This game wastes almost no time, and the kids love it. (If you want to save money, you can create your own whiteboards by laminating sheets of cardboard or cardstock. Students would then write with wet-erase markers.)
- Race at the board: Divide the class into two or three teams. One representative from each team comes to the board. You ask a question or give a problem, and the first person to write the correct answer on the board wins a point for his team. The students at the board only get one try, though. If they all miss the question, you take the answer from the first person in the audience who raises his hand. Just be sure to keep this game moving to minimize wasted time from students moving to and from the board.
- Group work contest: Assign a set of questions or problems to be answered by the group in a set amount of time. The group with the most correct wins. You’re really just adding a contest to a regular assignment, but the students appreciate the twist, especially if it comes with a prize such as a bonus point, homework pass, or candy.
- Un-Wheel of Fortune: This is Wheel of Fortune without the wheel. Have a phrase for the students to solve (preferably a key term or concept you are studying). Divide the class into two teams and ask questions to each student, going back and forth between the teams. Tally points for each team as follows: If the student answers correctly, give one point and allow him to choose a letter. Award additional points for each time the letter appears. (For example, if Gavin guesses E and there are 3 E‘s, he gets 4 points: 1 for the correct answer and 3 for the 3 E‘s.) The student can then try to guess the puzzle. Award 5 points to the team that solves the puzzle.
- Jeopardy: While you may think this game requires lots of pre-class prep work, it actually doesn’t have to. Yes, you need to set up some type of game board, but other than that all you need to do is choose categories based on the topics you want to review. When a student chooses “State capitals for 200” all you have to do is glance through your notes for an easier question. “Verbs for 2000”? Just ask a harder question.
- Around the World: This classic individual game still works so well! The first two students pair off against each other. You ask a question, and whoever says the answer first wins. The winner stands up and moves to the next contestant. The goal is to move as many seats as possible before losing, at which point the losing student sits in the seat of the person who beat him. The game ideally continues until one student makes it “around the world” and gets all the way back to his own seat. Often, though, the game simply ends when time is up, and the person who traveled the farthest wins.
What is your favorite review game?
Photo by www.audio-luci-store.it