2 Easy Review Games for Middle School

2 Easy Review Games for Middle School

As the end of the school year approaches, it’s essential to have engaging and fun review activities that help students review the concepts learned throughout the year. Today, we’re sharing two easy review games that are perfect to play at the end of the year. These games are fun and engaging, and the best part is that you can take them back to your classroom tomorrow and give them a try.

ELA review game

Language Lists

The first game is called Language Lists. It’s a great way to help students dig into their memory banks and recall some of their ELA knowledge from the year. To play this game, you need to place students into groups of 3-4. Each student will need a few pieces of paper or index cards. Explain to them that you will pick a random letter from the alphabet and an ELA category.

Middle school ELA review

You will then set a timer for three minutes, and each student will race to list as many things as they can starting with the letter you chose and that correctly matches that category. When the timer stops, they must put down their pencils. Each person in the group will then take turns reading their lists aloud. If a person says a word or phrase that another group member has, then both students must cross it off their lists! Students will only get points for the words and phrases they wrote down that are unique in that round.

ELA review game for middle school

You can play multiple rounds of this game and keep track of the scores over time. You can also play group against group instead of individually if you want to include some collaboration in the game!

Here are a few ELA categories you can use for this game: Also, consider having your students come up with the categories so the game is student-led!

  • Authors
  • Books
  • Characters from books and short stories you’ve read this year
  • Similes
  • Examples of onomatopoeia
  • Examples of hyperbole
  • Examples of alliteration
  • Grammar Concepts
  • Mood and tone words
  • Literary terms students have learned this year

Also, consider having your students come up with the categories so the game is student-led!

This is an incredibly simple game to play for a whole class period or when you have a few extra minutes to spare. Once students get the hang of it, it just takes a few seconds to organize the groups. 

Reading Rhombus

The second game is called Reading Rhombus, and it’s structured like the board game Taboo. To play this game, you’ll want to split your class into two teams. Give each team time to come up with about 20-30 different words/titles/phrases, etc., that relate to concepts learned in ELA this year. Once you approve the topics, give each team 20-30 index cards. They should write down each word/title/phrase at the top of each index card.

ELA games

Then they should strategize as a team to come up with five words/phrases that describe the topic that they DON’T want the other team to use as clues. These are outlawed words/phrases that can’t be used! When they play the game, they will be switching index cards with the opposing team. Then each team will be taking turns giving their own team clues to help them try to guess a specific word. When one team is giving clues, the other team has to be silent.

The beauty of students creating the topics and outlawed words is that the game hasn’t even started yet, and they are already reviewing content from the year and strategizing over which words should be outlawed.

Once teams have filled out all their cards with the outlawed words they can hand them into you.

Then choose a team and a clue-giver to go first. The team will select a card from you and then you’ll set the timer for one minute. The player will then give clues while their team calls out their guesses.

ELA games

The clue-giver may not use any of the outlawed words on the card or from the topic itself. For example, if the answer is Esperanza Rising, the clue-giver may not say “Esperanza,” or “Rising.”  

If the clue-giver uses an outlawed word from the card, the judge (you or a student from the other team) will make a mental note of this and explain at the end of the minute why the team did not earn points for that card. It’s up to you if you want to let students create sentences and have players fill in the blank or if they can use physical gestures.

Middle School games

The player has one minute to get their team to correctly guess as many cards as possible. Next, the other will team will go, following the same procedures. Continue going back and forth until you run out of cards. The team with the most number of points at the end is the winner! The second time students play will be even more challenging because they most likely picked the more obvious ELA review topics during the first round!

If this game is a success, consider rinsing and repeating it with different categories on a different day. 

These games are incredibly simple to play and take very little prep work. Once students get the hang of it, it just takes a few seconds to organize the groups. You can put students in charge of coming up with the categories, selecting the letter for each round, and even keeping track of all the scores. These games are perfect to keep them engaged while reviewing important topics.

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Then, pick the date you’re going to teach it in your classroom, and sit back while you watch as your students show up to your classroom pumped about what the day holds…and gush about your class to their parents on the car ride home!

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