It is getting close to the time of year where I will be doing both in-class and after school review with students. This can be a little challenging since some students need content review, some need skill review, and others need both. I’ve had many students that prefer short content-packed review lectures while many prefer something a bit more active. Although the lecture has its place, I tend to prefer reviewing content and skill in other more engaging ways. Here are a few ideas I have had success with. They are not all my creation; instead, credit should go to the collaborative collective of teachers that can be found online.
These puzzles take a bit of preparation; but they can be reused year to year if cut out carefully and laminated. The original idea is not mine, but I have used this template to create many such puzzles for AP World vocabulary. I often have students work through multiple puzzles collaboratively, with the final puzzle more challenging than the others.
For a bit less preparation you can have the students actually make the quilts and then exchange them with each other as practice. Since the edge words do not have accompanying matches, students can define these after completing the puzzle.
Two students working together might complete one of these puzzles in as little as 5 minutes. So this review activity is great for squeezing in to the lesson wherever time permits.
Vocabulary Brainstorm or Bingo
I originally came across a template for this from the Adamson Adventure; a great resource for both teachers and students. Over the years I have used the basic outline for a variety of in-class review activities. Usually, I will have students fill in as many terms as they know or do a pair-up activity where partners rotate, and with each partner they have to fill in two new squares. I like to have students write the term’s significance rather than just its definition, a subtle but important distinction that asks them to contextualize developments around the term instead of just understanding its basic meaning.
Below is an example of one I have used for Unit 5. I have also used 5×5 version of the sheet to do a Bingo-style activity. Terms are randomized on each student’s paper, and when I pull a term students must explain its significance in the box. Usual bingo rules apply, and I check all completed terms when a student wins.
The basic structure of a quick write does not require a significant amount of prep and gives students an opportunity to practice both content and skills. I use this activity to practice Short-Answer Questions as well as thesis writing, contextualization, and evidence selection for the Long-Essay Questions and Document-Based Question.
Students are paired up and have an individual white-board. They are asked to respond to one part of an SAQ (usually non-stimulus), write a thesis for an LEQ prompt, or contextualize a thesis statement I provide. There is enough possible differentiation that it does not have to become stale, can be done for just 15 minutes or for a full lesson, or can be adapted into a game with a points-based incentive.
Just prepare the quick write prompts on a PPT (this is my Unit 5 Quick Writes Review), get some mini-whiteboards, and the review lesson is ready to go.
Quizziz is the easiest review game on the list since it exists as an online app that many teachers already use. As a result, dozens of review games and questions exist in the Quizziz online database and can be accessed with a free account and a few minutes of prep. Many teachers are likely also aware of Kahoot, Gimkit, and other such online review games. I tend to prefer Quizziz because of the existing database of AP World materials, the fun options such as memes and “power-ups” that make the game a bit more interesting for students. There are some cool paid options as well that offer possibilities for interactive lessons in addition to just a review game.
Jeopardy style review games are common. Years ago, it would take a lot of effort to set up an interactive jeopardy game through PowerPoint to use for a class. Jeopardy Labs is a great online tool that I have been using to play jeopardy without the need to spend a lot of time in preparation. There are many existing game templates to pull from, and any template can be easily copied and edited. 10-15 minutes of prep make for a fun and engaging review game.