Wednesday, August 26, 2009

History Week, Day 4: Five Fun Review Games

Although the content has changed, I have always tried to review for quizzes and tests with games whenever possible. These are some of the more interesting ones I found in my records.

First, two BINGO games using Steve Mashburn's template.
  1. Reform Movements BINGO - Vocabulary from the abolitionist, women's rights and temperance movements.
  2. Industrial Revolution BINGO - Major themes and key vocabulary from this era.
Next, two Jeopardy style games.
  1. Colonial Jeopardy - Questions about geography, the New England and Southern colonies, and some major political ideas of the early 1700s. I made this when I was only a second year teacher, and I'm not that thrilled with it, but it's a good starting point.
  2. American Revolution Jeopardy
Finally, the last game comes from a retired teacher who worked at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center. It's a game designed to teach how the Electoral College works while reviewing any other U.S. history facts you're studying. I was lucky enough to play this with other museum visitors and then take the idea back to Texas to use with my students. You need:
  • A deck of cards containing the 50 states and their respective electoral vote totals
  • Dice (preferably the giant novelty kind)
  • A large U.S. map you can write on or mark off
  • A list of U.S. history trivia questions.
The group is split into two teams, blue and red (or Democrats and Republicans if you can pull that off without incident). In each round, a team will roll the die, take that many state cards from the deck, and then answer a trivia question. If they answer correctly, they get all of the electoral votes for those states. If not, you could give the other team the chance to answer (if you want to up the ante). Otherwise, the other team follows the same procedure.

Play continues until all of states have been won. When I played this game in class, it was around the time of the 2004 Presidential election, which means we were still in the very early part of the school year. This list of trivia questions covers only the first couple of months of 8th grade U.S. history content:

All of these games use vocabulary and wording from TAKS released tests for 8th grade U.S. History. Some question and answers don't make a whole lot of sense, but neither does much of the TAKS. Many of these terms appear again on the 11th grade TAKS, so it should be useful for those teachers as well. As always, please share your best resources in the comments or via email.