Finals Review Favs

19th December 2014

The last three days before finals are like babysitting a bunch of baby chicks. No matter how much you want them to stay put in their area and work on a review guide they are constantly scurrying over to a friend or “chirping” away. Therefore, there is a need for pre-planned review games that will keep their interest with friendly competition.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Align the Stars is really fun and is nice because you can have up to six teams. This is super easy to set up too: take a list of test review questions (about 30 are fine) and put your desks in six columns (one for each team/star color). I give each column a small white board that they will write the answer on (they will also pass the white board to a new team member behind them each turn to keep it fair). First team (column) to hold up the correct answer on their white board gets a star on the screen in their color. I do not let teams help each other so whoever has the white board has to try to answer. First team to connect four stars, wins…extra credit on test, clothespin for their shield, candy…you decide!

Grudge ball is a favorite of my students. Something to think about though with this game is you must use it with a class that has a positive class culture, because well it can cause “grudges” and you need to have specific items to set it up: Nerf ball and small basketball hoop and masking tape for throw lines on your floor.

Break up into 5 or 6 teams to start:

  • Each team starts with 20 “X’s”
  • Each team gets a question
    • If you get it right, you get to remove 1 “X” from another team’s board
    • If you get it wrong, you must remove 1 “X” from your board
  • BUT before you remove the “X”, you have a chance to increase the ability to get other teams to hate them
    • From the 1st line = 1 extra “X’s”
    • From the 2nd line = 2 extra “X’s”
    • You may take them all from one team or split them up
  • Each team takes turns
  • No more “X’s”? You’re out.
    • BUT you can get back on the board.
      • Answer a question correctly AND take a shot. YOU MUST do both! Make the shot, you’re back on the board
      • 1st line = 2 “X’s”
      • 2nd line = 3 “X’s”

Jeopardy is a classic review games that is also popular in many high school classes. I like to use though because then it is digital version that is easily playable in class or at home (I can post the jeopardy labs link on my teacher webpage and students can use it to study at home or on their mobile device).

For more ideas on review games, visit – they have dice games, board game generators to invent your own board game, crossword puzzles, etc.

These games keep the students engaged and out of trouble all hour while making sure they actually review. However, if I have another random day left before finals, I let the students choose: “study group” or “blow off steam”. I set up my room with one section for studying with a peer group and one for playing Catch Phrase. I tell my students that if you want to study (and it doesn’t have to be for my final) sit at a table and work to help each other and if you want to just blow off steam and relax a bit, sit in the circle and play Catch Phrase (because it is sort of English-ly – use description diction kiddos).

Happy finals week to you and your little chicks!

XO. Brit