Stimulating games improve students' study skills
This is an excerpt from 101 Classroom Games by Gareth Long,Harvey Grout & Stuart Taylor.
Assess knowledge and understanding.
Prepare for examinations.
Use textbooks to locate information.
- A set of serve cards
- A textbook
The teacher or pupils prepare a series of serve cards that have questions worth three marks.
The class is put in teams of two, and one team plays against another (as in beach volleyball). Team A serves and turns over a card for team B to receive.
To score a point, team B has to provide three answers to a question. If they can't provide three answers, then the point goes to team A. In volleyball a player cannot touch the ball twice, so in this game, a team member cannot provide two answers in a row. Both members of the team have to contribute to win a point. Team B then serves and turns over a card for team A. A textbook acts as the referee!
Easier: Allow the teams a set number of time-outs. When a team decides to use a time-out, they have 45 seconds to find the answer in their books.
Harder: Introduce a set number of blocks that each team can play. In this variation, if team A get three correct answers to a question, team B can play a block, meaning team A has to provide one more example to get the point.
Great Balls of Fire!
Learn key concepts and definitions.
Practice multiple-choice questions.
Improve recall and response.
- Four buckets
- Four different-coloured balls
- Multiple-choice questions
Select five teams and give each team their own coloured balls (you could also use bibs or cones). Label four buckets A, B, C, and D, and line them up in front of the teams.
Read (or project) a multiple-choice question with four possible answers (A, B, C, and D) to all the teams. As soon as the person at the front of his queue thinks he knows the correct answer, he runs and drops his ball in the bucket matching the answer's letter. Teams earn 10 points for the correct answer. A bonus of 10 points is awarded to the team who first answers correctly.
Easier: Each team could also be given a ball of fire which, when used, doubles their points; if they use their ball of fire, get the correct answer, and do it first, they get 40 points.
Harder: The teacher may include a five-second gamble period before the balls are locked in the bucket. This would allow teams to fake the answer to confuse the other teams.
Learn key concepts and definitions.
- A set of boxing cards
- A set of definition cards
- A stopwatch
Pair up the class (so pupil A gets ready to box pupil B). The boxing cards are shuffled and placed in the middle of the pair. Both pupils have a series of definition cards (a glossary is a great source for making the definition cards).
Pupil A reads the definition on her first card. If pupil B guesses what is being described, she gets to turn over one of the boxing cards. If she turns over a jab card, she gets 1 point; if she turns over a hook card, she gets 2 points; and if she turns over an uppercut card, she gets 3 points.
If a pupil answers incorrectly or takes over 10 seconds to provide an answer, it is pupil A's turn to answer. Each round lasts three minutes, and the pupil with the most points wins the bout. After the three minutes are up, the pupils move on to box another classmate.
Easier: Allow pupils two attempts at each card or allow them a certain number of blocks that allow them to pass.
Harder: Ask pupils to provide the definition to the word. If the pupil gets the definition word perfect, she scores a knockout and wins straight away.
Learn more about 101 Classroom Games.More Excerpts From 101 Classroom Games
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