Monday, 23 January 2012

Secondary Technology - Revision Games

When it comes to exams, I often find that a lot of my pupils struggle to revise for Design & Technology, finding their practical experiences hard to associate it with written exams! In lessons, they enjoy the practical side of the subject but often find sitting down and concentrating without distracting each other a challenge. I have developed several basic revision games to use with my pupils as a "reward" for revising quietly for 10 minutes. These often work as great starters to lessons especially if the pupils are in a particularly "unsettled" mood!
  1. "Confidence". Pupils sit and revise a certain subject (of their choice) in silence for 10 minutes. I often put a countdown clock on the board to stop them asking how long is left! Once the time is up the pupils have to stand in a circle around a desk. The idea of the game is that the pupils have to recite some of the information they have just learnt. I often kick the game off by asking the pupil to my left a question on what they have just been revising, e.g. name a type of hardwood. That pupil then has to decide if they can name a hardwood. If they can they say, for instance, "I can name two types of hardwood". The pupil to their left then has to decide if they can name three types of hardwood and so on. However, if a pupil is not looking very confident about their statement, e.g. "I can name seven types of hardwood" then the next pupil can "call" them on their statement and the pupil who has been called has to recite the seven types of hardwood. If they correctly recite what they have been "called" on they get a prize if not the person who "called" gets to recite the correct answer.

    Admittedly from my description the game does sound quite complicated but it's not and the pupils get the hang of it quite quickly after a few goes. The game involves all the pupils as they never know when they are going to be "called" so it ensures that they are all thinking of the answer to the question rather than just sitting in their seats and nodding off when you just fire questions out to pupils in the class!

  2. Technology Word Association game. This game improves pupils' subject knowledge and is a useful game when it comes to revising. Pupils are given 5 minutes to revise a certain subject. Again I then get them to stand in a circle around a desk. I usually then fire off a word to one of the pupils about what they have just been revising. E.g. hardwood. The pupil I point at then has to say a related word. e.g. oak and at the same time point to another pupil in the circle. That pupil then needs to say a related word and point to someone else. If one of the pupils can't think of a word or hesitates, then they are "out" and have to sit down. The winner is the pupil left standing at the end of the game. If you have a large group it might be an idea to hand out a prize as you go rather than getting the loser to sit down. This game also works well as a lesson plenary and could be based on the lesson's key words.

  3. Picture, word and description matching exercise game. This game is simple. Pupils have to revise a certain topic for 10 minutes then they are given a set of cards (you'll have had to make these in advance!). You can make these quite basic - you'll need a set of pictures associated to the topic that the pupils are revising (i.e an LED), a set of words (to match the pictures) and a set of matching descriptions, which should all be shuffled up. The pupils then need to match up the set of cards again! I find this game works best if the pupils work in teams of 2 or 3, with the prize going to the team that gets all the answers right first (though if they submit an incorrect set of answers they are disqualified from the prize to stop students just guessing!) This activity works really well to encourage peer assessment and also group discussion.
James Randall
Technology Teacher, Barking Abbey High School


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