Review games are my favorite! I am very no-nonsense when it comes to covering content, and I frankly don’t usually try to make a game out of my lesson. But students know that once all content has been covered and work has been completed, a fun or goofy review game is often on the horizon. I wrote another post about review games for middle and high schoolers, but most of those games don’t allow for social distancing.
Below are instructions and ideas for four different review games that can be used anytime during face-to-face instruction, and can easily accommodate social distancing and health protocols.
Modified “I have…, who has…?” for Older Students
This is a more meaningful and competitive version of the classic “I have…, who has…?” game. It’s great for social distancing in the classroom because everyone can stay in his seat and there are no communal supplies required.
- You will need a set of questions or problems with straightforward 1-2-word answers.
- More questions will mean longer game play.
- Create a set of answer/ question cards. Each card will feature an answer at the top and a question at the bottom. The answer on a card should be the answer to the question on another card and vice versa (see photo below for example). Print 2 identical sets of the cards.
- Divide the class into 2 teams. If possible, have the teams move away from each other.
- Distribute one entire set of cards as evenly as possible to each team. All cards must be distributed. Each student must have at least one card.
- Choose one student on each team to go first.
- The first student reads the question on his card. The student who believes the answer on his card is the correct answer reads his answer, and then the question on his card. (No need to say “I have…, who has…?”) If needed, the team may briefly discuss whether the answer given is correct by only saying “yes” or “no,” but not giving away the answer. The goal is to engage all students by having them consider if the answer on their card is the correct one. Only the student with the correct answer on his card may say the answer.
- Play continues until all questions on all cards have been answered correctly.
- Both teams are working through their card sets simultaneously. The team that completes their question/ answer set first wins.
- Monitor game play for cheating or misunderstanding of game play.
- For safety, students can discard their card(s) after the game is over. Print a new set for each class.
There are a number of ways to set up an academic scavenger hunt. This is one simple set-up, but there are many variations on this that you could create. Of course this game does involve movement, but students should still be able to social distance while they play.
Prep/ Set Up:
- Print out a series of numbered questions or problems and post them around the classroom or other space in a random order. Post the questions in such a way that students do not have to touch or move anything to read the question.
- Create several versions of answer sheets for students, assigning a random set of question numbers they must answer.
- Create an answer key for each version of the student answer sheet.
- Students move around the space searching for the questions they must answer, then recording their answers to the questions.
- You can make it a team or individual competition to see who can correctly answer all of their questions first, or just continue until all students have finished.
- Remind students to maintain a safe distance and practice any other required protocols while moving around the room.
The Unfair Game
This is a very simple game that a teacher friend shared with me. He said his students always begged to play! Students can remain in their seats for the entire game, and you can play for any amount of time short or long.
Prep/ Set Up:
- Use https://wheelofnames.com/ or a similar randomizer/ spinner website and enter a series of point values, both positive and negative. Neither the number of entries nor the point values matter. Get creative! (On Wheel of Names, I bookmarked the URL after I had entered my point values, and they were still there days later when I revisited the site! Hopefully that feature will work for you as well, so you can play this game, any time, with zero prep! Woot!)
- Have a series of questions and answers prepared. (If you teach ELA, this ELA terms and definitions glossary is great material for any review game!)
- Divide students into 2 or more teams.
- Take turns having one student from each team answer a question. After the student answers the question, spin the virtual wheel. The point value the wheel lands on is the number of points that student’s team receives, whether positive or negative. The points are only assigned if the student’s answer was correct.
- Game play can continue as long as you wish. When the game ends, the team with the most points is the winner. (Or the least points, you decide!)
My students actually really enjoyed playing a Jeopardy-style review game. I found the template on TPT. It was a little time-consuming to put in all of my content, but I was able to reuse it across several classes and it was a big hit.
Also consider Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and other popular TV game shows that lend themselves to covering academic content. Search the web for templates.
Students can remain in their seats while game play is centered on a presentation at the front of the room, with or without technology.
Soundboard.com has the theme songs available to play for tons of game shows!