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History Classroom Activity to Practice Key Terms

written by: •edited by: SForsyth•updated: 4/14/2009

For each chapter in your text you will most definitely have plenty of key terms and dates that students must learn and memorize. Get your students working together in interactive groups to practice these words while playing a fun board game.

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    For each chapter in your text you will most definitely have plenty of key terms and dates that students must learn and memorize. Get your students working together in interactive groups to practice these words while playing a fun board game.

    Prepare the Game Board and Other Materials Before class pick twenty to thirty terms that your students are responsible for. On a blank piece of paper create a game board by drawing thirty squares that are connected and go from the top of the page to the bottom. The first square should be labeled with “Start" and the last one with “End". All of the other squares will have a key vocabulary term written in them. Make enough copies for the entire class. Split Class into Groups of Threes When class starts break the students up into groups of threes. Have the group designate one person as the leader. He will not be playing the board game, but instead will be checking the answers given with his text book. Pass out a game board and a die to each group.

    Tell the class that the two students who are not the leader will be competing to get from the start to the finish first. These students will need a game piece which can be anything from a coin to a pen cap. Each group will take turns rolling the die and moving their game piece appropriately. When a student lands on a particular term he is to tell the leader the definition. If he is correct he goes again. If he is wrong the next player gets to go. Monitor and Assist Struggling Students When there is a winner that student is the new leader. The previous leader now gets to play. Give your class about fifteen minutes to play.

    Students will have fun with this activity and will concentrate on the meanings of the key terms so they can win. Walk around the room to make sure everyone is participating. You can give clues to groups that are struggling with the words. I would say that this activity will work for elementary all the way up to high school.