“Review of the Week” (a classroom activity)

At my current place of work, we make a weekly scheme of work on a Monday afternoon and it runs through until the following Monday morning, when new students arrive. Friday first lesson is quite often billed “review of the week”, especially when Friday second lesson is “progress test” (which is generally once a fortnight).

This activity, oh-so-imaginatively dubbed “Review Quiz”, is nothing earth-shattering in essence, but I’ve added a twist which I’ve found to be rather effective:

1. Introduction: Tell learners they are going to have a pub quiz. (They usually come into class quite tired on a Friday morning but tend to perk up when you put this to them!) Then explain that they are going to come up with the questions for it.

2. Preparation: Put learners in teams of (ideally) 3. Tell them that they need to review what they have learnt over the past week and come up with, say, 5 questions to ask the other teams. (Number of questions depends on number of teams, level of learners and time available – make a judgement call!)

3. The twist: They have to give each question a point value of between 10 and 50 points, in multiples of ten. So, easy questions would be worth ten, hard questions might be worth 50.

  • If one of the other teams answers the question correctly, they get those points but if none of the other teams answer correctly, then the team whose question it is gets the points.
  • Of course the greatest number of points at the end of the quiz wins.
  • What happens is learners put a lot of effort into composing suitable quiz questions, as they want to foil the other teams so that they win those points themselves. In the process, in my experience, they scour the week’s work, discuss it at length and produce good questions. (It is a good idea to go round and check each group’s questions, to make sure they are formed correctly prior to starting the quiz, esp. with lower levels)

4. Run the quiz: Each team takes it in turns to pose a question (first stating the number of points that it is worth) and the first hand up gets to try and answer first. Teams may confer but must do so before raising hands. (This requires some self-control!) If the first hand up answers incorrectly, the opportunity to answer passes to the next team and so on until either the correct answer is given or the team who asked the question wins the points they allocated to it. This continues until time or questions are exhausted.

5. Optional extra: You can throw in a few extra questions (for example if you feel that none of the questions that learners have made up cover particular points that you think should be reviewed) – these are ‘joker’ questions. You can make them worth any number of points (tip: it can be motivating for the team in last place if you make the point allocation sufficient for them to come from behind and take the lead! This also motivates the leaders to try doubly hard to maintain their lead…)

I’ve used this activity with pre-intermediate, intermediate and upper intermediate groups equally successfully – as learners are generally motivated to win, the content tends to be at the upper limits of their capabilities, whatever those may be.

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4 thoughts on ““Review of the Week” (a classroom activity)

  1. Going to adopt this – my timetable is very similar to yours and this means one less lesson to plan – a positive for me, and regular recycling – a positive for the students -win win!

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