Marrena Ralph, Kids 4 Truth Clubs Program Administrator
Effective Review Gaming
Prepare the Kids
Let the children know that there will be a review game later. This will motivate them which will help to involve everyone. If the kids know that there is a review game coming, they will be motivated to pay attention better, especially when they know there will be an award to the winning team.
While you are teaching, give the children hints at what some of the questions are during the review game. This will help them remember the main points and be ready for the game.
Be sure to announce when you have a super fun game that all the kids love. Otherwise, just let them know you will have a review time. Make the review game big. Follow these techniques and announce the review game and the game will be motivational and fun. Why? Because kids love games!
Review Gaming Guidelines
Cheering and Chanting Allowed but ‘boo’ing will stop the game. The game should always encourage never discourage someone who answered wrong. If the children boo, give a reminder or stop the game.
Remember: You as the leader can add and subtract points as needed. To maintain control subtract points if: the children do not come to attention when you call them to attention or for the next question, the children boo the other team or person on the other team; or the children display unsportsmanlike behavior.
Work to Involve Everyone
Use a few easy questions so everyone has a chance to answer. When you ask the easy questions and 85 hands go up, don’t call on Susie Smarty-pants who always raises her hand. Limit the number of times the same person can answer a question. Tell the children this ahead of time so that they don’t depend on one or two children.
Involve your workers in your review games as kids love to see adults get involved or embarrassed.
Learn the names of the children!
Work to involve everyone, even if they’re not directly involved. Use both the Team Concept and Helper Concept in your games.
Vary the Approach & Build Your Repertoire
Use super-fun games sparingly. Use characters such as the Kids 4 Truth characters: Zeek, Zebedee, Zachariah.
Vary Teams: Boys verses Girls, level verses level, Left Side verses Right Side
Vary Team Names: Discoverers, Developers, Detectives, Defenders, Planets, Stars, T-Rex, Bulldogs.
Use Fun Games Names: Luigi’s Tie Shop, Snowball Mania, Snowball Lunge
We believe that review games should be a staple in your children’s ministries or classroom as repetition aids learning. Review gaming also provides a motivation to learn as kids love to win, and in order to do well in the game the child must pay attention and learn.
Review gaming helps children who have different learning styles such as active, hands on, audio, or repetition.
We believe that review gaming should be some of the most carefully planned time in your sacred seconds with the kids!
Prepare Your Questions Before the Game
Review the most important truths/items, especially the ones they often get wrong. Review Games are a precious time to test for cognitive knowledge and evaluative knowledge.
Use creative questions. Would we rather kids get some facts about the story, or get the message of the story? Do I want kids to know what percentage of tax Joseph levied on the land or do I want them to know how Joseph responded to his brothers and what He said? Review Games can be used for more than just cognitive knowledge! How can you do this? Determine the most important truths/items you have taught. Determine the most important truths/items you want them to get that day
Make the questions easy to understand
Keep your questions in a file. If you do this for 4 years, and you will have some awesome review questions!
Along with preparing the questions, prepare the game itself including any supplies you need such as: Visuals, Overheads or PPT, Props, balls, or Anything else.
Use Corporate and Individual Awards
Important Reward Reminders: Points are Free! Kids go for quantity, not quality: 1000 points verses 1 point OR 1000 points verses 1 piece of candy.
Sometimes you can blend both corporate and individual awards: Points for the team and piece of candy for the child who gave correct answer OR Points for the team and small prize for the child who gave correct answer.
Be careful when you award prizes for the winning team. “Bragging Rights” or privileges that reward, but do not leave others out, work well. First in Line verses ice cream or candy for winning team. Leaving out the losing team can have negative consequences such as: “It’s Johnny’s fault that we didn’t get the ice cream,” “We NEVER win,” OR “Oh man, we have Grady on our team, we have lost already.”
Make it Suspenseful!
Have Twists in the Game: “Let’s Make a Deal” - Go again and I will double points. (of course, they could lose all points). Keep going with option of losing points if you choose wrong. Use games with built in twists.
Remember: The director/teacher-role is a dictatorship, not a democracy. There is a certain element of you as the sovereign game-controller helping the game stay close. You can give points for other things to help the game stay close but still remain fair such as: First team sitting quiet after an answer is given, loudest cheer, quietest cheer, team paying the most attention, or Sportsmanship points.
Make Your Own Games
Have the kids help you. The favorite game of our kids is one that we made up. They feel some ownership to it. The favorite songs of our kids are the ones they helped make up.
Use the internet.
The simpler the better! The less time you have to spend explaining the game to the kids, the better.
Visit Kids 4 Truth EquipU site for free downloadable game file for unique games.
Keep it Short, Changing, and Quit While You Are Ahead!
Make the time to answer different: kids run to a kid with a baton, have a kid blow a horn, have an animal balloon you let go to choose the kid, slap your hand on the podium, throw ball in the air and when it hits the floor kids jump to answer. You can take a game, like HANGMAN, and add a unique element like that, and kids will want to play it over and over again.
If you have a super cool game, but it goes too long and the suspense factor wears out, then you no longer have a super cool game in the minds of the kids!
Make the Game Fun For Kids!
Use your personality, and do whatever it takes to make it a blast for the kids.
Use characters instead of “X” or “O” or match theme of program or classroom.
Use twists to make game unique.
Use fun graphics and supplies: Bumpy or fuzzy ball instead of smooth ball OR Team names instead of Boys verses Girls or Right verses Left.