Published in e-newsletter hyphen in January 2005.
You have spent three months trying to get your students motivated, and into good habits. And just when you saw the first glimpses of progress, it’s the holidays …! Now you’re back into class hoping your students still remember some of what has been taught, while everybody sighs ‘ah, review time!’ Here are a few ideas to make review time a bit more fun.
In this activity, students advance bases as they give correct answers to review questions.
- apply the game of baseball to a fun review activity
- earn a base for each question correctly answered
- four bases (four student desks might be arranged to create the “bases“)
- quiz questions prepared in advance
This lesson provides review practice for students by adapting the rules of baseball.
Before the Lesson
Prepare a long list of questions that aim at reviewing language, or practice a specific skill. You might prepare sentences that include an error of punctuation, grammar, or spelling. Or you might provide a word and two definition choices; the students’ job will be to identify the correct definition.
Set up a “baseball field” in your classroom. Identify the locations of home plate, first base, second base, and third base. You can use four desks as bases.
Arrange the class into two teams. Flip a coin to determine which team will be “up to bat” first. Pose the first question to the first batter. If the batter gets the question right, s/he goes to first base. If the second batter correctly answers the next question, s/he goes to first base, forcing the student on first base to move to second… and so on.
If a “batter” misses a question, that batter is out and the next batter gets a chance to answer the same question. Three misses and the other team takes over ‘the field’.
Find the word
Students revise vocabulary through definitions
Key vocabulary words on 10x15cm cards
Hold a word card above a student’s head making sure the student can not see the card, but the rest of the class can. Without saying the word, call on another student to give a definition of the word. The first student tries to guess the word. Continue the activity until all the vocabulary word cards have been answered correctly.
Beat the Teacher
Target language revision
If you teach a student one on one, then this game is perfect for revision of your previous lessons, as well as finding out how much the student may already know. It’s a form of Naughts and Crosses (Tick Tack Toe). It can, however, work perfectly well by splitting the class into two teams and have them compete with each other.
Before your lesson, write down as many questions as you can think of to ask your student, and number them 1 to whatever.
- What is the simple past tense word for Run?
- What is an Abstract noun?
Draw the nine squared ‘naughts and crosses’ grid on the board (by overlapping two horizontal and two vertical lines). Let’s say, you thought of 60 questions to ask your students. Ask your students to write down on a piece of paper the numbers 1 to 60.
The students first choose a number from their list of numbers which corresponds to one of your questions. Remember that each question is only asked once. If they get it right, then they draw their naught or cross, whichever symbol they choose, in whichever square they like on the grid. However, if the students get it wrong then the teacher (or the competing team) draws their symbol in whichever square they like. Don’t forget to tell them the correct answer afterwards! The game goes on like this until the winner gets three same symbols in a row.