Jeopardy: The Makeover Edition

I like Jeopardy as a review game, but have found that students get caught up in the idea of “winning” more than they retain knowledge from the review game aspect of it. I updated my Jeopardy plan to make it more about the review. Having explicit directions and clear expectations helped a lot. Cutting down on transition time also helped a lot (i.e., by having the teams pre-selected, having a plan to combine teams if students were absent, creating a graphic organizer so students wouldn’t have to write down the problem before solving).

– Jeopardy handout with problem “shells” – most of the structure there, but blanks for numbers
– Timer
– Whiteboards and markers
– Pre-made list of teams for each class


Each team will rotate in choosing the category and point value.

All teams have the ability to earn points in each round, as long as:
• The designated “answerer” provides the correct answer on the whiteboard within the time limit (set differently for each question). The “answerer” should cover the whiteboard with paper until the timer goes off and the teacher calls for all teams to show their work.
• All team members have the work shown on their papers.

Teams lose points for:
• Incorrect answers
• Having team members not showing the work on their papers
• Screaming out the answers before time is called
• Soliciting answers from other groups (not collaborating with own team)
• Changing their work after time is called

Because this is a test review, please do not ask the teacher for help* during this activity. You should be asking your teammates for help. You are not graded on how many points you receive. This is for helping you practice for the test!

*However, teachers are available to help you during lunch and after school. Please see us then.

**If we don’t finish all 25 questions, that is okay! We want to have about 40 minutes of review. We’ll give you the remaining questions to study with.

The graphic organizer also unexpectedly saved the day. I was originally planning to do this with a projector, but left my cabinet key at home by mistake, so my intern and I completed the lesson by creating a makeshift game “screen” on a large whiteboard and writing the categories + 100, 200, 300, … and writing the numbers to fill in the blanks for the selected problems. My intern also tallied the point totals for each table (replacing the automatic point counter from JeopardyLabs).

The students responded well to this game. I spent a good ten minutes going through the rules and making up fake scenarios (e.g., pretending that Little Sally peeked at Little Jimmy’s paper and asking what score Little Sally’s team would receive). I was also okay with not finishing the entire board–I’m working on “time on task” versus “get through this problem set.” Additionally, my overeager students who typically work ahead were kept with the class because the problems weren’t completely pre-printed.

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