Last Thursday and Friday, I got to enjoy one of my favorite days of the year (twice!) – the first day my classes get to play Trivia! Trivia! Trivia! TTT is a Jeopardy-style game that consists of a wide range of trivia questions, some class-related, some simply fun. The idea was borrowed almost word-for word from my 11th Grade AP English teacher, Mr. Snodgrass, and it would be utterly wrong of me to mention the game without mentioning that I stole it from him (Thanks, Snod!).
The rules for the game are pretty simple:
- Students divide themselves into teams (everyone must be part of a team). These teams give themselves a team name (pending classroom appropriateness, etc.)
- Every team has a piece of paper that they use as an answer sheet. It’s best if they break up this piece of paper by category so it’s easier to score at the end.’
- The team in last place gets the first pick of questions and we circle around the room, making sure every group gets to pick several times.
- When a question is asked, all groups have a few seconds to write down their answers on the answer sheet. Volume is key here – if they’re too loud, other groups can hear them.
- Any group is allowed to request a hint on any question. If every other group wants a hint, as well, I give them a hint (up to 3 hints per question). If one group says, “No hint,” I do not give anyone a hint.
- This repeats through all 25 questions in the round.
- At the end of the round, groups either give me their answer sheets to score, or they pass their answer sheets to the group next to them, who will score it (I like it better this way – less work for me, and they have fun yelling about the answers they didn’t get).
- When all the scores are added up, I put the totals into an Excel spreadsheet (using formulas to total scores and rank teams), which autmatically ranks the groups. After every round (there are several throughout the year), I update the standings and post them in the back of the classroom.
This year, I’ve unveiled the newest edition of Trivia! Trivia! Trivia! Whereas last year’s game consisted of printed questions and answers and point values written on a white board, I spent several hours over the summer putting together the greatest PowerPoint of my entire life. Since I looked far and wide for a great Jeopardy-style template (with little success), I thought I would pass on the template I am using now (attached below).
There are a lot of reasons I love doing Trivia! Trivia! Trivia!: it’s fun, it involves learning, it provides a sort of formative assessment, it’s fun…you get the idea. I also love watching them as they talk about the answers to every question – students who normally don’t get involved are intense, and many of them know more than I gave them credit for. Even those who didn’t suddenly get a certain concept that they didn’t get before because it appears under the guise of “fun.”
This got me thinking: what sort of games do you play in your classroom? What methods do you use to get your students to have fun and learn at the same time?