Reviewing for assessments that cover a wide range of material can be hard to do in an engaging fashion. After finishing our unit 3 material in Social Studies, I planned an eight center review game that reviewed the US regions, NJ regions, climate, weather, landforms, and natural resources.
Group work can be difficult for some students. Giving students specific jobs can be one way to avoid typical behavior problems found when implementing small groups. For this Social Studies review, I decided to use a spy theme to encourage student engagement in all areas of center work.
My small group jobs focused on transition time, noise control, and jobs within the group setting.
Please reference and use my Social Studies: Spy Theme Review PowerPoint to access the description of the following positions: Secret Service Messenger, Group Spy, Mr./Mrs. Hat, Noise Detectives, and The Watch.
An outline of the activity is found below:
Each center was given a “secret mission”. Each secret mission contained one or two activities, and an extension activity if a student was to finish early.
- Station One. Explain how a wooden table is made. Use the words: natural resources, raw materials, and processed in your response. If time, illustrate the steps you described above.
- Station Two. Identify six renewable and nonrenewable resources using the graphic organizer provided. If time, why are people considered resources?
- Station Three. Design a post card using the yellow paper to describe the difference between the Inner and Outer Atlantic Coastal Plain. Write the message first, and then illustrate if you have time. (Example provided in folder)
- Station Four. Create a song about the different types of landforms. Include atleast 4-5 different types. Also try to include the locations of the landforms (where they are found in the US).
- Station Five. Compare and contrast weather and climate using a Venn Diagram. (Students were also given five questions to answer–multiple choice)
- Station Six. Draw a picture of the water cycle. Label the four steps. If time, create a story about the water cycle, using the character of a water drop.
- Station Seven. Label the 5 regions of the United States on the map provided. Create a key that color codes each section.
- Station Eight. Use the map provided to label the four regions of New Jersey. Put a star next to the region we live in.
Each station contained a yellow envelope that was labeled (Secret Mission #____). Inside each envelope contained a blue Task Card that outlined the specific activity that was to be completed at each station. You will notice that each card consist of vocabulary words (Bloom’s Taxonomy
) that measure the different levels of difficulty.
Each student was given a clipboard with paper.
Teachers’ role: Facilitators, frequent check-ins for each group, collect information on what students need to review, ask clarifying/guiding questions.
Activity: Two day span, review answers on second day once students complete every station. Activity acts as a formative assessment. A Jeopardy review game will be made based on misconceptions/topics that need to be reviewed for the SS Common Assessment on Tuesday.
Groups and Roles: Pre-determined
Students also reflected on their roles within their groups at the beginning and end of the lesson. Students determined self-goals at the beginning (such as ask group members two clarifying questions, stay on task, and use polite language) and then reflected on those goals when we were cleaning up material.