Turn Any Worksheet into a Game

“Find Someone Who”

A great cooperative learning structure for turning the mundane into a game that gets students talking, learning and out of their seats!

I hate going over the syllabus with my students. I find it boring and it requires a lot of talking from me and inactive listening from my students.  In the end, my students still ask me questions throughout the year I explicitly answered in my syllabus. Therefore, I decided last year to scrap that from the first or second day of class.

Instead, I told the kids to go home and read the syllabus with their parents. I announced that the following day we will play a game and it will really help them in the game if they knew the syllabus.

I took the most important things in my syllabus and made a simple fill-in-the-blank worksheet. Under each question, I left a space for the answer and a signature.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 3.23.44 PM

 Click Here to See the Full Worksheet

The next day, I gave students three minutes to study the syllabus in their table groups. I announced that the game will be played as individuals and not as a team (although this could be easily modified to allow for pairs) and therefore each student needs to be an expert on the syllabus. When I said “Go!” students walked around finding others who knew the answers to the questions. Each person was only  allowed to answer and sign each paper once, including their own. Since there were 13 questions, students had to talk to at least 12 other classmates. They became experts on many questions as the worksheets began filling up with signatures and they were forced to answer new questions.

The first student to get 13 answers and signatures ended the game. The winners were the students who got the most right answers. Therefore, students who hadn’t finished still had a chance to win. As we went through the answers as a class, I clarified things in my syllabus and left time for questions. I have never seen the kids have so much fun learning about a syllabus! 6th grader, Samuel S. approached me at the end of class and asked, “Are we going to do more fun games like that in history?” #win

This can be used for ANY worksheet! Ask Beth who used this structure throughout the year with her 2nd graders! If you would like to watch me give directions  for this game to my 6th graders, click on the video below.

Things I learned from video-taping myself:

  • I am very animated and talk quite slowly. (I am not sure yet if this is a good thing)
  • I need to stand up straight. 🙂

Cooperative Learning structures are so amazing. To get one-on-one help with integrating structures in your classroom see Beth, our resident expert, or me for help!

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