Activity for Last Hour – Scrabble??

Alright, so it is approximately 9:00PM and you sense the class is tiring a bit, probably from the exposure to your amazing intellect.  How can you use this hour most productively?  As many of you have survived this is NOT the hour to show videos or launch into a lecture, unless you want the students to fall asleep!  Keep back an activity for the last hour which engages the students and fosters interaction, energy, and collaboration.

Here one such activity.  Print one term in the middle of the white board that is significant for the course as a whole or for that class period.  If you are teaching accounting you might write “Balance Sheet.”  Explain, even if repetitive from previous conversations, the definition of a balance sheet.  Now ask a student to write a second term on the board from the defined parameters, e.g. significant to the course or the class period, in a way that intersects the word you wrote.  The student might write, for example “Profit Loss” which intersected “Balance Sheet” at the ‘l’ in “Balance.”  The student also has to define the term which can be done with assistance from the class if the definition is insufficient.  Have each student come to the board and contribute to the growing “scrabble” like maze of words at least once, or several times if it is a small class until you are satisfied that the key terms/concepts are present.

If the class is too large, split it into two groups and see which group creates the best “scrabble.”  Note, that if you do have to split the class you will have to assign a moderator for the second group who has a good grasp of the material, thereby fostering leadership and recognizing accomplishment.

At the end of the time, have everyone take a picture of the board (you too).  As an option, either as extra credit or to replace a similar assignment, have students create a crossword puzzle based on the word maze above with the questions based on the definitions discussed in class.  There are a lot of free crossword puzzle generators available online.

Alternately, this might make a great exercise the first hour of the last week prior to the final.

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