I had the day planned out. Give my write a multiple choice quiz test review assignment and sit in the front of the room and grade papers. Then I heard the new administrator was prowling the halls looking for teachers to scare. I also heard he was a big fan of collaborative learning.
This is what I came up with.
I’ll start with the preparation and procedures since that’s what most of you really want.
Preparation. Think of 4-8 topics you’ve recently studied. As soon as the bell rings assign each student a number corresponding to a specific thing you’re reviewing. Since we had just finished an Edgar Allan Poe unit, dividing topics was easy. I wrote each topic on the board.
- Group 1: “The Tell-Tale Heart”
- Group 2: “The Black Cat”
- Group 3: “The Masque of the Red Death”
- Group 4: “The Pit and the Pendulum”
- Group 5: “The Raven”
- Group 6: “Anabel Lee” and “The Bells”
Procedures. Now that each student’s been assigned a number, you may begin.
- Each student should create 2 multiple choice questions based on the category they’ve been assigned.
- After a few minutes, instruct students to arrange the desks into groups of 4-5, depending on how you assigned the numbers.
- After the desks have been satisfactorily arranged, assign groups to each cluster.
- As a group students write a 12-question multiple choice quiz as a team.
- Assign categories for questions. For example, the Poe quiz had to contain the following: (1) two questions about plot; (2) two questions about theme; (3) two questions about suspense; (4) two questions about figurative language; (5) two questions about imagery or symbolism; (6) two questions about language acquisition.
- Once the quizzes are created, make sure each student has a copy. This can easily be accomplished by cell phone cameras, a quick run to the copy machine, or the old fashion way of each group member writing the question by hand.
- Assign each student on each group a letter. The number of letters should be determined by the following formula: # of students in class / # of stories or concepts you’re reviewing. In this case 6. The class in question has 39 students (can’t figure out why public education isn’t what it used to be) so I formed 7 groups (a-g).
- Reassign groups by letter. If you did it correctly, each person in each group should have a different story/quiz.
- Each student will have 2-3 minutes to quiz and instruct their fellow reassigned group members.
Alternatives. You’ve probably recognized that this is a jigsaw activity. You don’t necessarily need quizzes. It can be notes, story maps, or a combination of things. Here’s a story map graphic organizer, if you choose that option: Short Story Map.
And now for the all important (to your administrator and local politician) common core objectives…
- RL.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
- RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
- RL.9-10.3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
- RL.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).