4 Engaging Review Games: Moving Beyond Simple Study Guides and Jeopardy

Review games are a fun addition to the classroom because they allow students to work together to reach a common goal.  They also provide students with healthy competition and allows students to practice memory retrieval of information learned.  Typically, teachers will play Around the World, do flash cards or play the classic game of Jeopardy with students as review.  I want to introduce 4 games that I have played in my classroom that are unique and allow for something new and exciting.  Jeopardy is a fun game, but sometimes it can get redundant after while.  All of these games require some form of movement, so be prepared for exciting review days!

1. Review-sical Chairs

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Duration: 30 minutes

Materials: Chairs (one less than the number of students), two answer buzzers (check out some answer buzzers here)

Review Topics: All Subjects

This game is a play on musical chairs.  This game is a ton of fun! It allows students the chance to answer questions while getting the opportunity to move around.

Directions: The game begins with the chairs in a circle (or manner of setup suitable for student movement) with one less chair than the number of students.  The teacher plays a song and the students move about the room, typically in circular fashion.  Once the teacher stops the music, students must try to sit in the closest available seat.  If a student is unable to find a seat, they must participate in a face-off.  The student must select another student that is seated to challenge them to a face-off.  The teacher will read a review question and give students the opportunity to answer the question.  The teacher should allow the first student to press their buzzer to answer first.  Whichever student answers correctly first wins the seat.  The other student is out of the game. The game continues until there is only one student left to be declared the winner.

2. The Hot Seat

Duration: 45 minutes

Materials: A “fancy” chair, projector (optional), slideshow presentation software (optional), dry erase marker, timer (snag a cool timer here)

Review Topics: All Subjects, focusing on vocabulary

This game is engaging and allows students to work collaboratively to reach a goal.  It also gives them the opportunity to be descriptive and use their vocabulary to describe other vocabulary words.

Directions: Divide the classroom into groups of 4 to 5 students.  Allow students to select a team name and write the team names on the board.  Teacher can determine which team goes first (highest roll on a die, quietest group, first to create a team name, etc.) Students on the first team select a person to be in the “hot seat.” The hot seat is a fancy, comfortable chair.  The chair should be facing away from the dry erase board/projector screen in the room.  The student must sit in the seat and face their group.  The teacher will project or write a vocabulary word on the board.  The first team has 30 seconds to describe the word to their teammate in the hot seat.  Students describing the word cannot: say the word, say a part of the word, use gestures, say “starts with” or “rhymes with”, and cannot spell the word.  The student in the hot seat must guess the word correctly.  If the student answers correctly before the time runs out, their team receives a point.  There is no penalty for wrong answers or guessing.  Play moves on to the second team.  

Note: If time is an issue, you can create only a number of words that equals the number of students in the class.  This way, every student has the opportunity to be in the hot seat.  You can also choose to make easy, medium, and hard words for the students and allow the points for each type of word to increase.

3. Rush!

Duration: 45 minutes

Materials: Three chairs labeled 10, 20, and 30 respectively, timer, three dry erase boards, three erasers, three dry erase markers (get a great set of erasers and boards here), projector (optional), slideshow presentation (optional) 

Review Topics: All Subjects, particularly great for math and science problems

In addition to being an exciting game, this game also teaches students how to make decisions effectively and bargaining.  

Directions: Ensure that the three chairs are centrally located so that all teams can access them equally. Divide students into 3 separate teams.  Each team can create a team name.  The teacher should give each team a dry erase board, a marker, and an eraser.  For each question, each teammate will rotate the board around so everyone has a chance to write.  The teacher will ask a question (it helps to project the question on the board for students) and each team will have 20 seconds to write down their answer. Once an answer has been written, the student with the dry erase board must rush to the three chairs.  They can choose to sit in the chair labeled 10, 20, or 30.  Students cannot take a seat in any of the chairs once the timer has gone off.  Once the timer is up, the teacher reveals the answer.  The catch: If a student sits in a chair and gets the answer correct, they will GAIN that number of points.  If they get the answer incorrect, they will LOSE that number of points.  Each group has the option to omit from answering if they are unsure about their answer.  This means they will receive 0 points for the round.  The group that has the most number of points at the end wins the game.

 

Duration: 45 minutes

Materials: Three chairs labeled 10, 20, and 30 respectively, timer, three dry erase boards, three erasers, three dry erase markers (get a great set of erasers and boards here), projector (optional), slideshow presentation (optional) 

Review Topics: All Subjects, particularly great for math and science problems

In addition to being an exciting game, this game also teaches students how to make decisions effectively and bargaining.  

Directions: Ensure that the three chairs are centrally located so that all teams can access them equally. Divide students into 3 separate teams.  Each team can create a team name.  The teacher should give each team a dry erase board, a marker, and an eraser.  For each question, each teammate will rotate the board around so everyone has a chance to write.  The teacher will ask a question (it helps to project the question on the board for students) and each team will have 20 seconds to write down their answer. Once an answer has been written, the student with the dry erase board must rush to the three chairs.  They can choose to sit in the chair labeled 10, 20, or 30.  Students cannot take a seat in any of the chairs once the timer has gone off.  Once the timer is up, the teacher reveals the answer.  The catch: If a student sits in a chair and gets the answer correct, they will GAIN that number of points.  If they get the answer incorrect, they will LOSE that number of points.  Each group has the option to omit from answering if they are unsure about their answer.  This means they will receive 0 points for the round.  The group that has the most number of points at the end wins the game.

4. Survivor

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Duration: 50 minutes

Materials: One chair (or desk) for each student, projector (optional), projector screen (optional)

Review Topics: All Subjects

Not only is this a great review game, but it also teaches students about friendships, selflessness, and the ability to rely on those you trust.

Directions: Have students stand (if they have chairs) or sit on their desks (if they have desks).  Explain to students that they are all survivors on an island from a plane crash.  There is a raft, but only one person can fit on the raft. The teacher will project a question on the board.  Students must raise their hand if they know the answer to the question.  The teacher can select randomly OR select based on the first hand to be raised.  Once chosen, the designated student must answer the question.  If the student gets the answer correct, they may vote another student “off the island” or they can bring a friend back on the island.  If a student is voted off, it means that the student must sit down.  If a student is brought back, they can stand back up.  Students have the opportunity to get back onto the island ONE time.  If the answering student gets the answer incorrect, they must take a seat.  The play continues until only one student is left standing.