Semester Review Game

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Students will be able to determine correct answers to questions concerning semester one material through playing a review game with their peers.

Big Idea

Semester one carries many concepts which students must recall for their final.


In this lesson students have a chance to review for their final exam through participating in a review game with their partners.

  • Because this is a review activity it touches on multiple NGSS Performance Expectations including: 
  1. HS-PS1-1: Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
  2. HS-PS1-2: Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties. 
  3. HS-PS1-3: Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.
  4. HS-PS1-7: Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction. .

For this activity there are several materials needed including:

  • Whiteboards (one per group)- If you do not have access to whiteboards you can have your school order some such as these at Office Max or you can also have students write answers on a sheet protector with a piece of paper in the middle.
  • Dry erase markers (one per group)
  • Dry erasers (one per group)


10 minutes

In this part of the lesson I spend time introducing the game to students and having them prepare their groups.  The rules and setup are on the first slide of the Semester Review Game Powerpoint.

First, I go over the rules to the game:

  • I explain that there are 20 questions and that each group has an equal chance of answering the question correctly. 
  • I tell students how I will give groups anywhere from 1 minute to 5 minutes to answer each question and that when I am ready for them to show their answers I say "3-2-1- hold up your boards".  At that point each group needs to have their answer on the board (A, B, C, or D).
  • Then each group that has the correct answer will be awarded a point.

I then break students into groups. 

  • I naturally have 8 groups in my classroom (from the way in which I have my table arranged) so use these groups for the game. For more information about these natural groups see the engage section of my First Day of Class Lesson. If I have a smaller class or a lot of absent students I may combine some smaller table groups so that there are more students per group.
  • This picture shows how I have the 8 groups on the whiteboard under which I keep score.
  • I then have each group get 1 whiteboard, 1 marker, and 1 dry eraser.
  • I also tell students to make sure that they have calculators, periodic tables, their mole maps and their binders ready to help.
  • Finally I have each group choose one person to be responsible for holding up their group's answers.

This video shows how I explain this to my students.


70 minutes

For the game I go through the questions one by one on the Semester Review Game PowerPoint allowing students to answer the questions with their groups

  • Depending on the class, I will either pick the questions myself (starting with #1 going to #20) or I will go around the classroom having groups pick the question we should do.  For example I might say "alkali metals groups which questions should we do next" and they may pick #3 or whatever.  In order to keep track of which questions have already been done I keep a tally on the board under the score.  This picture shows how I do this.
  • When I show the question on the board I tell students how long they have for the question (I range from 1 minute for most questions to 5 minutes for the Stoichiometry questions) and then roughly time it.  I periodically will update students with the amount of time they have left (for example, "you have 20 more seconds"). 
  • When I am ready for students to show their answers I say "3-2-1 hold up your boards" and then have students keep their boards up while I give a point for each group that got the question correct.  Here is a video of my doing this in my classroom.
  • After this I say what the correct answer is and explain WHY it is correct.  I will then go onto the next question.  This video is an example of me doing this in my classroom.
  • When the game is over I give candy for the group (or sometimes groups) that have the most points.  This picture is an example of the final scores at the end of the game.