Lesson Topic: Social Studies Review
Date: Nov. 12, 1997
Teacher of Lesson: Joy Augustine Time: 45 minutes
Grade Level: 5th grade--adaptable
Password is designed with the knowledge
that students of the intermediate grades enjoy quick-paced class
games as a strategy to review content. This game requires students to
work together to assist teammates in identifying names of people,
events, terms and concepts that were significant in our study of the
thirteen colonies. Password is similar to Jeopardy because
students are asked to identify the term that matches a given
description. This game could be played throughout the study as a way
to help students master these terms. However, it is described below
as an end of the chapter or unit review.
- Students will use the oral and written
directions to successfully participate in the Colonial
Password game. (This includes
working cooperatively as a team and following basic rules of
- Students will devise clues that their
teammates can use to figure out the password, a name, term or
phrase from the vocabulary or concepts presented in the social
studies unit. Synthesis
- Students will match the correct password,
name, phrase or concept, with the clues generated by teammates.
Cards made of construction paper or
poster board, an overhead or poster listing Password
rules, a pointer, chalkboard or
another surface where cards can be attached, prizes of some sort
Before students arrive:
- Create several, at least one for each
student, noun cards on construction or poster paper. The cards
should be laminated if possible. These noun cards can be
vocabulary terms or concepts the students have become familiar
with during the course of their study of the thirteen colonies.
The cards should cover a range of difficulties from easy,
intermediate to difficult.
- Randomly spread the cards out across the
board and attach them with either masking tape or fun
- Prepare an overhead or poster stating
- Determine the number of teams students will
be divided into and how you will determine who is on each team. I
suggest having the students letter-off into five teams A, B, C, D
and E so that these teams are small enough to conference
effectively to develop clues.
When students enter:
- Explain the rules that are presented on the
over-head projector verbally. Go through a practice round
explaining: Each team will send a member up to face the class with
his or her back to the board. (Everyone will have a turn to be up
at the board.) If I pointed at the card that read "Virginia" your
team would have fifteen seconds to make a clue for your password.
The first clue your team might create could be, "This colony was
the first to be successfully colonized by a group of Englishmen."
If the student at the board stated the password, three points
would be awarded and tallied on the board.
If the students did not say the password
correctly, the next clue might be, "This colony was named in honor
of Queen Elizabeth." If the correct password had been elicited two
points are awarded.
If the correct password had not been stated,
a third and final clue is given by the team such as "Colonists
came here to look for gold in 1607."
If the password was given then, the team
would earn one point. If the student who is "up" never gives the
correct password after the third clue, the next team sends someone
up to the board and this person tries to use the three previous
clues to steal the password for one point. If he or she does not
get it, they are given a new password.
- When a password is correctly identified,
the card is removed from the board. If after three clues are given
the password is not identified by any team, the card remains on
the board and can be used again.
- Ask if there are questions about how the
game is played or its rules. Before the teacher answers
students questions, ask members of the class to raise their
hands and volunteer to explain the game or rules to their fellow
- Ask students to letter-off into five teams.
Then ask students to move to seats that you designate A, B, C, D
- Ask one student from each team to roll a
set of dice. The team with the highest number will go first, the
second highest second and the lowest number last.
- Begin playing Password according to
the rules discussed.
- When time runs out or all cards have been
used, the game is over. Award prizes.
- Did students demonstrate team behaviors
such as supporting one another? Did the students employ the rules
this game? Were students able to explain the rules and guidelines
of Password to their classmates?
- Were students able to devise clues that
were appropriate and effective, neither too easy or too difficult?
- Did a majority of the students correctly
state the passwords? Are there terms, events, names or concepts
that need to be reviewed further? Knowledge
How did the lesson go? What revisions
necessary? Did students enjoy the game? How did I do?
- Password can be used for any subject
- At any time when the password is stated, as
an added challenge, students can spell it correctly to receive an
- Rather than relying on teacher generated
password cards, the students can make a list of passwords they
feel are significant in their study of the colonies.
- Intead of removing password card from the
board when it is correctly identified, the cards can remain on the
board so it is more difficult to decide which term is
- Both teams of students and individuals who
are up at the board, can use their textbooks and notes to get
ideas or confirm suspicions.
- Teams can be given a greater length of time
to develop clues.
- Rather than randomly choosing cards to
point at, the teacher can match the difficulty of the cards to the
abilities of students. For example, if student who was labeled as
EMH, he or she could play using password cards that were made from
the adapted material he or she had studied.
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