Sunday, May 06, 2012

End of First Practicum and Titanic Jeopardy Lesson Freebie!

Last week on Friday I had the last day of my three week practicum. Although I was relieved that I was finally able to relax afterwards, it was sad to say good bye to the students I had gotten to know over the weeks.

To put a closure to the time I was at the middle school, I ended my poetry unit with a poetry cafe event where the students each chose one or two poems to read which they had written throughout the weeks. For the poetry cafe, I got the students to bring in treats to create a cafe atmosphere, and played some calming instrumental music in the background. To go with the whole cafe theme, every time a student finished reading, we all snapped our fingers which helped create the mood. We also had a student be an MC, which he did an excellent job doing!

Here was one of the treats the students brought in for the poetry cafe on the last day of student teaching!

I am so thankful to have been able to do my practicum with such supportive staff and amazing students! They were so cooperative, sweet, and helpful. I will miss them a lot for sure! I've learned through these three weeks and also from being an assistant last year that an important part of being a teacher is to learn to let go and being able to say good bye. This can be quite hard...

Last week I taught a Jeopardy lesson on the Titanic which I'd like to share with you today. It's a one time lesson that doesn't require any background information from the students, so I think it would work well for substitute teachers teaching any grades between four to seven.

The lesson is started with a picture or a short video related to the Titanic as an attention grabber, followed by a discussion on what the students already know about the topic. The class is then divided into two teams. There are strips of paper with facts written about the Titanic posted on the walls of the classroom. Students have a short period of time (I initially said 5 minutes, which I think ended up being too long...3 to 4 minutes should be enough for grade sixes) to memorize as many facts as they can. All of the questions in the game will be directly taken from the facts posted on the walls. Once the time is up students return back to their groups and decide on a speaker. Only the speaker is allowed to state the answers to the questions. The teacher takes off all the facts from the walls. After playing the Jeopardy theme song, the game starts! 

Here are the basic rules:
  • Each group will take turns selecting the categories and answering questions.
  • Only the speaker can answer the questions. The team members will therefore discuss the answers to decide what the speaker will say. 
  • If one team gets an answer wrong, the other team can steal half the points if they get the question right.
  • Each team has 30 seconds to answer each question.
  • If a team gets a daily double, they will first decide how much they will wager. Then, the team will answer the question. (eg. If a team wagers 500 points and they get the question right, they will win 1000 points. If they answer incorrectly, they will lose 500 points.)
  • *An optional Final Jeopardy session can also take place for the final round, where each team decides how much they will wager for the final question. 

The grade six students absolutely LOVED this lesson and I had so much fun teaching it! The great thing is that this lesson can be adapted easily for other subject areas or topics as well, especially as a review activity at the end of pretty much any chapter.

 Here is the lesson plan, along with the facts to cut into strips of paper to post onto the walls of the classroom, the questions and answer key, and the Jeopardy category sheet. Enjoy!

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