For those of you who are currently working in Japan or have worked in Japan before (or maybe you’ve just done some serious internet-searching on working here?), you know that the school year comes to a close at the end of March. That leaves us with the question of how to review the content we’ve been teaching kids all year. I’ve found games to be an effective way to do this, in particular Jeopardy. The kids get to work collaboratively to play, they have fun, and (if they can read) they practice reading categories and questions.
Contrary to a lot of the games I’ve presented, this one does take some time to set up. Since you (and maybe your supervisor) are the only one who knows exactly what you’ve been covering in class, you have to design a jeopardy game that fits your kids. You can make your own game on this awesome website. Once you’ve made it, then you can continue onto the game itself. So, without further ado, here’s one of several ways you can use jeopardy in class to review:
What you’ll need: a board, a computer, an internet connection (and the URL of the jeopardy game you made), possibly a projector or large TV screen (so your students can see the game), students, and I like to use bells/buzzers (but you can easily ask them to put up their hands instead).
Step 1: Before the game starts, cycle through some of the sentence patterns and vocabulary that the students have seen over the past year. Ask questions to different students, pull out flashcards, and do what you need to do to get their brains warmed up and ready.
Step 2: If you have a lower number of students, you can make each students his/her own team. If you have a larger class, you can make groups of students. Try not to have more than 5-6 groups overall, or else things can get kind of messy. Give each group a number and write their group number on the board.
Step 3: Set up your jeopardy game and open it up. Show kids how to play (they must choose a category, then a number of points; the more points, the harder the question). A different student must answer each time (I make this rule so that the quieter students have a chance to shine too).
Step 4: Give students buzzers/bells and do a practice round so that they can understand better. The first group to ring the bell/buzzer gets to answer the question. Alternately, you can also just say that the first group with all of its members’ hands up gets to answer first. When they choose a question, read it to them (this helps them a lot if they can’t read).
Step 4: Play the game and keep track of points. The team with the most points at the end wins!
If you’re having trouble imagining what a jeopardy review game could look like, I invite you to check out this jeopardy game. I made it as a review for some of my more advanced students. They seem to enjoy it, and the pictures really help them follow along.