— ActiveHistory.co.uk (@activehistory) April 8, 2015
A vocabulary sort provides students with a variety of terms and concepts related to a unit or for a course. You can use them at the beginning of a unit or at the end of a unit. Sometimes I do both as a way to show students what information they’ve learned.
Here are some strategies.
Ask Students (usually in small groups) to
- Separate terms they know and the terms they don’t. Look up/research the ones with which they aren’t familiar. (then move to the following strategies)
- Identify & justify at least 3 categories (student or teacher choice) and sort the words in the appropriate categories. Discuss the similarities and differences of the categories selected by each group
- As the teacher, include ‘obvious’ headlines/category subjects, and students sort associated words/terms
- Have the students select their “favourite” words and ask them to do a short literacy activity using each of the words in the correct context.
While students work, emphasize there are no “right” or “wrong” answers. Their properly reasoned verbal justification can make any word fit any
I have also made the terms on large sheets of paper. The students then sort the giant words on the floor in a larger group. I then post the words in their selected categories on the wall for a Word Wall.
Here is my Vocabulary sort for The Great War.
Here’s a PDF: CausesofWW1wordsort
Here are a few games you can use in your classroom. I believe all can be adapted and modified to fit many elements of the history, civics or social science curriculums.
Object: be the last person in the game.
- Sit on the desk. – on desk = in the game, in chair = out of the game.
- Count numerically from 1 – 10.
- Each player says up to 3 numbers sequentially. (ex, 1 or 1-2, or 1-2-3…)
- move around the group in the same order.
- you are trying to force others to say 10. If they do, they sit back in their chair and lose.
- Start again at 1
- repeat until you only have one person on their desk. They are the winner
Have students work together to build a tower from paper.
PDF Instructions (I’m sorry – it’s a terrible copy).
Students make judgements about who can survive after a nuclear war destroys the planet.
- Create a set of cards with “communist” vs. “non-communist” McCarthy-like assumptions. Students have to categorize who is arrest and who is not.
- Create a set of cards with qualities possessed by different immigrant families or individuals. Students then determine who can come to Canada and who cannot. This may be done for immigration policies for 1900 as well as current practice. Perhaps students can determine the best criteria.
Here’s a similar game where students have to determine what items should be taken from a crash site.
Instructions for this game can be found on one of my older posts.
The Ball Toss
Object: Say 5 topics within a given category before the other players pass an object around the room
- Students sit in a circle.
- One student is “it.”
- The Game Master selects a category in which “it” must list 5 terms. He/she must do this before the rest of the class passes the ball around the circle.
- “It” wins if she/he lists their words quickly and correctly. The class wins if they pass the ball effectively.
Rock Scissors Paper – Marxism
this is an awesome game used by Greg Kulowiec at The History 2.0 Classroom.
Purpose: The game is played to demonstrate Karl Marx’s view of capitalism, exploitation of the working class, the control of the means of production & the difference between the bourgeoisie & proletariat.
Each player is given two paper clips (units of money).
One paper clip is the minimum necessary for your survival. Any more than one paper clip allows you to do with what you will.
Everyone has the same opportunity to earn more money by challenging others to a game of rock, paper, and scissors.
You may accept or refuse a challenge to play, except from a player with more units of money, in that case you must accept the challenge.
You may go at it alone, pool resources, divide winnings or create alliances.
The winner of each challenge takes one unit from the loser.
Once a player has not units and loses a match, they become the employee of the winner of said match.
As an employee, the individual must challenge others on behalf of their boss. Once two units are earned for the boss, the employee keeps one unit, gives one to the boss and gains their independence.
If an employee with nothing loses to another, he becomes the employee of the new winner, unless the new winner is also an employee. Then both work for the original employer. (The employee plays with his labor, not the units of the employer. If your employee loses, you lose your employee to the person who won, and he works for the new employer.)
Employees may not challenge their boss.
- What was it like to be an employee?
- Why did you become an employee?
- Was it easy to gain your independence?
- Was it easy to become a boss?
- Was it easy to stay a boss?
Got any more ideas or links to new strategies? Please tell me in the comments!