It’s Revision time!
Revision can be a tedious round of past exam questions, past papers, [b] questions, [c] questions, etc, etc. Here are a few ideas for livening up revision whilst still maintaining the rigour necessary for exam success. Remember, as in all teaching, variety is the spice of life!
1. ‘Just a Minute’ – stolen unashamedly from the Radio 4 quiz show of the same name. Write out each of the key events, people and ideas from a topic on a small piece of paper. Fold them and put them in an envelope, tin, hat or other container – the more the merrier! The first student picks out one of these at random and has to talk about it for exactly one minute, without repetition, deviation or hesitation. The rest of the class can ‘challenge’ the student if any of these occur. A winning challenge means that student has to complete the topic. You can score if you wish to make it even more competitive! On completion, the next student chooses a topic from the envelope, tin or hat and so on until the revision session is complete. Fun and challenging!
2. Time Snap. Create a set of cards to revise a topic. For example, to revise Germany you might have four ‘suits’ – The Peace Treaties, Weimar, The Rise of Hitler and The Road to War. Make cards for the key events of each of these. By turning over the cards one at a time students have to match the event to the ‘suit’ or time period. Once sorted, students then have to arrange all the ‘Weimar’ cards into, for example, chronological order, or in order of importance, or whatever you choose to prioritise or want the revision to focus on. A simple, but effective revision activity, that is also very easy to organise if you have an Interactive White Board.
3. You might know that Time magazine run a ‘Man of the Year’ feature every year. [On the three occasions it has been won by a woman it has been renamed ‘Person of the Year!’] You can find a list on the website: http://history1900s.about.com/od/people/a/Man-Of-The-Year.htm. Why not ask your students to decide who should be ‘Man of the Topic’ or ‘Man of the Period,’ or ‘Man of the Specification?’ And make them justify their choice. It can lead to a lively discussion that you can steer in all kinds of areas.
4. Finally, you know newspapers are always complaining that students know no history, and run quizzes to prove it. Why not ask your students to design a quiz on the topic you are revising covering all the detail that you would expect members of the public to know? This is much trickier than it sounds. Students have to know their stuff, and have to decide what is the most important and what is not so important. Have fun!
Alf Wilkinson February 2012.