My students had a quiz today, so yesterday I needed an activity to review vocabulary. I thought about using Colleen’s Pictionary idea, but my students frequently disengage during games, particularly in my sleepy first period and wild seventh period. I came up with this activity on the fly, and was able to throw it together in five or ten minutes before class. Basically, I projected a picture on the board, and asked students to write about it. Here are the rules:
It’s low prep, and despite being a paper and pencil writing activity – something my students usually complain about – with the carrots of group work, competition, and a PRIZE, engagement was high! Here are some of the images I used:
I offered a point for each word, but double points for sentences. Next time I think I’ll also offer a bonus for each unique transition or connector word – and, but, also, because, with, etc. I set the timer for a minute and a half, and let them count their own points when the timer beeped (I audited if necessary). I typed my own sentences, but hid them behind the picture, so I could quickly reveal my sentences to go over with the class, then hide again to be ready for the next class. It also served to model how to count the points, and groups got really excited when they could beat my point total! Overall, it served the purpose of reviewing vocabulary, but also got students working to create better and better sentences.