With its catchy music and quirky answer-question style, Jeopardy is a game show beloved of its viewers, who nightly tune in to watch Alex Trebek try to stump the reigning champion. And because of its popularity, Jeopardy also makes a great hook that can get students excited and engaged when reviewing facts. With just a bit of preparation, you can change your traditional classroom review session into a period of game show fun.
Things you need
- Review Materials
- Jeopardy Template
Prepare review material. Using the exam you plan to give, your lesson plans, the textbook, and other materials you’ve used in class, prepare a list that highlights the most important concepts that the students need to know for your Jeopardy review.
Choose a Jeopardy template. Superteacherschools.com offers a flash version for the Smart Board, while jeopardylabs.com has designed a customisable Jeopardy template you use to play online. You can also find free PowerPoint versions on many schools’ websites, and classroomjeopardy.com sells a kit complete with buzzers.
Input your information. Using the Jeopardy template, choose categories for your answers. Next, turn the information you gathered in the first step into answers that suit your categories for your Jeopardy review. You may want to keep a key with the correct questions. Remember, in Jeopardy, the students see the answers and must guess the appropriate question. Quiz show writer Rick Rosner discusses the importance of fact checking for actual game show question writers (See Reference 1); as a teacher, you should also double check your answer-question sets for any fact problems.
Create teams. “Suggestions on How to Play Jeopardy,” (See Reference 2) an article for teachers, recommends teams of 3-5.
Determine how the first category and answer is selected. “Suggestions on How to Play Jeopardy” advises choosing a Jeopardy review team to go first. You can also have teams flip coins, pull names out of a hat, etc. The first team selects the category and the dollar amount.
Pose the answer. “Suggestions on How to Play Jeopardy” (see Reference 2) recommends that students be given an allotted time period; then they should all get the chance to pose the correct answer to the question. However, the traditional version allows the first contestant to buzz in an attempt at a correct guess before moving on to others. Determine how you will play classroom Jeopardy based on age, ability, and classroom logistics.
Award points. Give each team that answers correctly the amount of points listed on the categories dollar amount. A double jeopardy round can be added that allows classroom Jeopardy teams to earn double points. Keep score on the board or overhead. At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins.
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