By Elizabeth Kahn
It is a fact that even in the 21st century, students need to study and review information they’ve been taught in class. In fact, many scientific studies have asserted that learning doesn’t take place without repetition.
Study guides created by the teacher or student in the form of lists may help when a student is preparing to take a test but may not be the best route for learning.
There are many digital tools that allow teachers and students to create games to make the repetition of information fun, rather than a chore.
The librarian and classroom teacher can make a great team when planning and executing lessons where the students generate games for study review in any content area and across grade levels. Here are a few of the tools I recommend using to create these learning games.
Flippity offers several opportunities to design learning games with a Google spreadsheet. My favorite is the Quiz Show template. I’ve used it to make a game based on ancient Roman and Greek history for students in a 6th grade world history class, and everyone loved it. You can read more about this activity on my blog.
There are several ways to create digital Jeopardy—including tools like Flippity. An undergrad at Washington State University in Vancouver made Jeopardy Labs, another fun way to create and play the game online. This template is easier to edit and save online than the many Power Point game templates available to teachers and there are other games on this site too. For example, use the one to build crossword puzzles that can be played online (best used on laptop rather than tablet).
I am a huge fan of Kahoot because it’s extremely engaging with its music and point system and can be played on any device, including a laptop, phone or tablet. The best part is students don’t have to download an app to access it.
With Kahoot, you create a quiz with up to four answers, but the number of questions is not limited nor is the number of players. I am the one who usually creates the questions and answers, but a Kahoot could certainly be made by the students.
There’s a new game on Kahoot called Jumble that allows students to put the four answers in order. Using Jumble could be great for practicing problems in math or putting historical events in order in social studies.
Quizlet has been around a long time as a way for students or teachers to create flashcards for study practice. If you haven’t visited it lately, you might be surprised at the updates. There are tools that allow for more game-like study practice including a fun matching game.
Teachers can register their classes and use Quizlet to monitor students’ understanding of concepts. It can also be used in a similar way to Kahoot with the new Quizlet Live. Learn how to use Qizlet Live here.
Another site that can be used to create flash cards is Memorize.com. The student or teacher creates a page, called a “wizard,” focused on a specific topic. They select their preferred mode for studying, including flash cards, matching, or multiple choice. These wizards can then be shared and users can collaborate and merge their wizards together.
A wide variety of visuals can be added to the wizards making this site a great resource for diagram a skeleton, parts of a cell, or Newton’s laws of motion in science.
At Vocabulary.com, students can play games to learn the meaning of words already curated on the site, or they can create an account and build a bank of specific words they need to know for class. Banks of words can be shared with others so students can assist each other as they build a guide for learning and remembering new words.
The Dustbin Game on Classtools is an easy way for teachers to create a review game. There’s a template for the creator to add the questions and answers in four different categories. This game could be used to review math problems, locations in geography, or species in science. Don’t miss Richard Byrne’s quick tutorial to help you use Dustbin.
If Dustbin doesn’t work for your class, you might find a better tool to create an interactive study guide for your students on Classtools. This website was created and is maintained by history teacher Russel Tarr. He has vetted all the tools on his site and most can be adapted for other subject areas besides social studies. One caveat: all tools are free and that means there will be ads.