Steal 3 of my no-prep review activities that allows the students to take charge of their reviews in a creative way with less strain and effort on your part.

3 No-Prep Review Activities to Steal Transcript

We are coming up right before break, and I know that you are tired, but also your students are definitely starting to check out. The problem with that is that most of us in the secondary area have either a final project or a final exam that our students still need to take. And it’s really hard to keep them focused, especially on reviewing things that they’ve already learned. But we also know that they desperately need help reviewing these topics. So today, I’m going to give you three quick and easy, basically no-prep ideas for how you can keep your students engaged until the end of this semester. 

Let’s start by telling you that I love template assignments. If you don’t know what template assignments are, I have had 14 preps in five years, and I need worksheets that I could carry with me from year to year. Otherwise, it was literally time wasted. In that quest, I have come up with lots and lots of review games that I can play for any topic. But also, I have created big projects that I can do. And one of the things that I’ve realized about my review games is actually the more creative I can let my students be, the more exciting it is for them…and for myself. 

Let me walk you through the three different ideas that I have that you can steal right now to help your students review for a big exam. 

#1 Review Activities: Visual Vocabulary

The first is one of my favorites, visual vocab. I love how pictures and color can tie in our memory and help us pull and recall information that we may have long forgotten. So what you can do with this is either assign individuals or groups to cover a specific amount of vocab. You can do all of it, too, if you want it for an entire semester. You can just tell them that they have to visually represent each of these vocab words in a way that makes sense to others, and helps everybody remember what is going on visually. It could still include words, but you need to have a picture, and you need to have color. It needs to be engaging. 

-They can make Christmas ornaments, where each ornament represents a different vocab word. 

-They could create a one pager that just flows with this whole Where’s Waldo of vocab terms. 

-They can create a little skit. 

-They can do so many things with this if you just let them get creative. 

#2 Review Activities- Become the Expert

Another thing that I love to do with review is to allow students to become their own experts in their class over a topic. Whether you pick topics, or assign them, have students create a one page summary about that section. About that piece of the unit. About that overall topic that they learned about. 

Then give everybody post- it notes, and have students go around, adding their knowledge to what is already presented. Then they can do another gallery walk and actually go write down the notes that they need to help them review and study. 

#3 Review Activities- Student Created Packets

Number three was something that I really needed in a time of desperation. When I had no previous exams to pull from, and I didn’t feel confident in the tests that I’d written earlier in the semester to just pull from those. I needed a little bit of help writing more questions.

So, I assigned each person in my class a chapter that we’ve learned. They had to create so many true false, so many multiple choice, so many short answer questions, and then they had to create one long response where it covered a good collection of information that we covered. They would write these, and they would take them very seriously. So all I would need to do is go copy that. 

They would have their own answer key, and I would give students those packets to review with. We would then come together and they would check their answers with the person who had written them. The really good ones…got put in the exam. 

Extra Credit

I cannot leave out my favorite, absolute favorite, extra credit earning opportunity. I give it every year and I’ve only had three groups ever take advantage of it. 

If you write me a parody song, a science parody song about anything we learned, and you record yourself (I won’t play it for everyone unless you ask me to), I will always give you extra credit. And you know what? They always remember what they rapped about. It is so fun. 

So I hope you can steal some of my ideas and save yourself a little bit of sanity as we roll into the end of the semester. Until next time. 


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Keywords: review, vocab, parody song, extra credit, exam, prep, systems