This review game is perfect to help your students demonstrate their learning for any literature text. You can use it while reading a text or after reading to have your students prove their learning.
In this blog post, I’ll show you:
- The basic idea
- The extra challenge
- What it looks like
- How to set up the game
- Why it’s not as complicated as it sounds!
The basic idea
The basic idea is that students build a card tower. The catch is that each card on their card tower has to demonstrate their knowledge of the ideas, characters, and the plot of a text.
The extra challenge!
It would be too simple to build a card tower with just information on it. Nope – that’s not enough for us. Here’s what the key to the challenge is: Each card has a sticky note with information on it. But each sticky note has to link to every other sticky that it touches in the tower.
Let me show you what I mean
In the image below, each card in lower zigzag pattern touches. The cards that touch either at the top of the V or at the bottom of the V have to have information on that connects.
So the sticky that we can see on the lower level states “Macbeth does not experience guilt”. This means that the card propped up against it must link to that idea. Perhaps with a quotation that proves this, or a reference to an event that links to this idea.
Even more challenging – the cards that make the horizontal support across the lower level also have to contain facts and information that link the ideas on the cards!
The overwhelming benefit of this game is that students have to think and think hard about all the ideas they wish to demonstrate before they try and construct their card tower. The tower itself becomes secondary to their knowledge and learning.
How to set up this review game
- So for this activity, you will need some packs of playing cards (although other cards will do) and sticky notes (mini ones if possible).
- I place students in groups of 3 – 4 and then I give each group about 8 – 12 playing cards.
As this is a literature review game. So your students will need to know about your text. It is essentially a 3D game of dominoes. Here are the instructions I give to my students:
- Your job is to make the tallest card tower, but you must follow these rules or you will be disqualified.
- Rule 1: each card must have a sticky note on showing information from the text.
- Rule 2: you must show information in the following order – plot, character, theme, then back to plot again. So each sticky note will have information on something from the plot, a character, or a theme in a series, in that order.
- Rule 3: each sticky note must relate to the ones on either of side.
- Rule 4: the tower must stand with no support for 2 minutes.
It sounds more complicated than it is
The first time I use this review game, students get all caught up with what is and isn’t allowed. So I give them this example. Here’s is what a sticky notes series might look like from Macbeth Act 1, Sc 1:
Plot – Macbeth fights bravely against rebels trying to overthrow King Duncan –
which links to – Character – Macbeth is shown to be bloodthirsty and violent from the outset – which links to – Theme – The theme of rebellion is introduced as Macbeth is given the rebel’s thaneship – which links to…plot! But this time because the theme is rebellion – you could include anything from the plot on rebellion!
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