Monday, October 26, 2015

A Snake of a Different Color: A Review Game

Not too long ago, I posted about a worksheet I gave out to my students named "Serpens" due to the way I wanted students to choose their activities.

This time, this is a game called "Serpens," named for the snake I draw on the board; I got the game from the beauteous and sagacious Caroline Miklosovic, one of my colleagues at my school.

The game is called Serpens and it requires little preparation on your part, though it should review material that students are very familiar with.

The serpens before the game starts.
  • Create a list of questions concerning your material. For my most recent game, I used vocabulary students would see in the reading we were working on and comprehension questions about the story. I created a list of forty questions, and I think that is a good number--we never ran out of questions but we didn't leave too many questions unanswered.
  • Draw a snake on the board. Or have a student do it. The snake should be divided into two and segmented into twenty sections on each side.
That's it!

Game Play

The class is divided into two teams (Red vs Blue in my class).
The finished snake!

I ask the first student in the Red team a question. If that student gets the question right, his team gets to color in a segment. If that student misses, the Blue team gets to try to steal the question. I let anyone who raises his hand on the Blue team answer. If the Blue team answers correctly, they get to color in a segment.

Then I ask the first student in the Blue team and the pattern repeats. If the student on the Blue team gets the answer correct, he colors in a segment. If he misses, the Red team gets a chance to steal. The final segment is the head, and that may have inspired me to suggest to the class that they are actually battling for control of the snake's mind and their future survival (the losing team is subsumed into the will of the winners). Just to up the stakes a little.

The game is quick; I paired it with a Kahoot to finish up the class. But it's a nice, relaxing way to review a story and another way to create repetition without being repetitive!

Miriam had her students draw the snake and had them fill in their own segments. Some cool art followed!

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