The countdown to GCSE exam time is on and revision is in full swing in classrooms across the country.
Many teachers are opting for mock questions and papers, and while these are obviously vital, too much exam practice can overload students (not to mention the teachers who have to mark them).
Peppering revision games throughout lessons can relieve some of the pressure on students and lower stress levels.
Quick read: Teaching GCSE English with Red Dead Redemption 2
Quick listen: GCSE revision: a guide to what works best
Want to know more? Why the body is as vital as the brain when it comes to learning
Here are four that can be easily adapted for your classroom:
Quiz, Quiz, Trade
Start by creating a set of cards for a specific area of revision. For example, in English, you could have a set for each text or a more general set covering a range of language features.
Each card needs a question on one side and the correct response on the other. Students begin with one card, before pairing up and reading the question to their partner.
After exchanging answers, both students swap cards and move into another pair, repeating the process.
By the end of the game, students should have revised the topic with their peers by encountering multiple cards, multiple times.
This is a simple card-matching activity that can be used to revise topics and encourage peer discussion around their learning. Again, cards should be created with a specific revision focus in mind.
One half of the pack could be subject-specific terminology, and the other half could be either definitions or examples (try to keep these as short as possible to ensure the pace of the game is not lost).
Students call out “Snap!” when they identify a matching pair. They should then justify their win by explaining how they know it’s a match.
This old favourite can be easily adapted for almost any subject. Bingo cards can be created using online tools and laminated for reuse. Or, to save time, get students to make their own in their exercise books.
Give students a revision topic and provide a list of possible answers to choose from. Students then place these answers into the boxes on their cards and cross them off as the description is read out.
Give each student a Post-It note or card with a word related to the unit being revised. Students then pair up and must guess their partner’s word, but without using the taboo word itself.
The aim is that students work collaboratively and engage in discussion with their peer about the unit. To add an extra level of difficulty to the game, you could add some additional words that could also not be used.
If “Milky Way” is the taboo word, for example, additional words could be “galaxy” or “solar system”. Ideally, a timer should be used to ensure that revision remains fast-paced and students are able to cover several taboo words before the end of the game.
Laura Tsabet is lead practitioner of teaching and learning at a school in Bournemouth