Hello, all! It’s that time of year again … EOC review time! I, like you, am constantly trying to find new ways to review course content with my students that doesn’t only include taking practice tests – because who really likes doing that?! As I typically do when I’m brainstorming a new activity, project, game, etc., I sat on my couch with my laptop this past Sunday evening, staring at the wall – appearing to my husband as if I had finally lost my marbles! I was really visualizing how 3 ideas would work with my students. Here are three collaborative American Government review activities to use to review for EOCs or any other time during the year!
Legends of Law
Landmark cases are so important to the study of American government, but are also quite confusing and can be difficult to remember – especially if you originally learned about the case in September or October and are being tested on it (maybe) in May – that’s a different soapbox for a different day. In “Legends of Law” students work in groups to identify a landmark case based on the Constitutional issue at the center of the case, the outcome of the case, the impact of the decision on American history, etc. Students offer their classmates one “difficult” clue that, if they correctly choose the landmark case being described, they earn 5 points. If they cannot answer the question with the first clue, a second clue (worth 3) is offered. Students can work individually, in small teams, or large groups to complete this activity. As students completed their Economic Theories mini-hyperdoc, I worked with small groups of students to review cases with this game. Super-fun!
Checks and balances and separation of powers are tricky concepts to learn. Each branch of government has specific powers and has responsibilities in other branches as well. Who can do what and to whom do they do it? It’s a lot to take in! Un-“Scatter”gories requires students to match powers/responsibilities of each branch of government with the appropriate branch. Start by cutting out the cards and “scattering” them on a table/desk/the floor – scattering … see what I did there? 😉 Students should study the cards and then place them in the correct category. It’s great to watch students work together to review these concepts!
Cards of Command/ Decks of Dough
This game is super-simple to make and can be played in pairs, teams, or as a whole class. To create Cards of Command, I printed a Quizlet flashcard deck that I had created dealing with various types and systems of government. To create “Decks of Dough,” I printed a Quizlet flashcard deck that I made about economic terms. I cut out the cards and pitched the definitions. Just like Ellen’s “Heads Up” game, students work in pair, small groups, or as a whole class to describe the terms/concepts to a student who is holding the term card on their forehead. The descriptions MUST be given using government terms. For example, if the term is Autocracy, students cannot describe the term by saying, “the first part of this word starts like another word for car.” This is super fun to play and can be created using any Quizlet deck!
We play all of these games during the class period. I divide my students into four groups and give each group one game. I set a time limit – 2 to 3 minutes – per round and have the groups keep track of their points. (Point values are listed on the Legends of Law game, and I typically assign 4 points per correct response for the other three games) Repeat the rounds as much as you wish during the class period!
I hope you enjoy these collaborative review games!