This guest post was written by Ben Pollard @bpollardPE.
Using game shows as ideas for engaging activities in lessons – ‘The Million Pound Drop’
I’m not really a person who believes that you need a ‘starter’ in every lesson and I certainly wouldn’t say my lessons follow any specific type of format relating to such things. I do however always strive to come up with inventive ways to engage pupils in the learning process and whether this comes at the start of the lesson, during it, or at the end, original ways to both engage pupils and assess their learning are incredibly important to me in my lessons. A while ago I started using formats from TV quiz shows in lessons to do just this. I have experimented with a number of these, one particularly successful one is described below.
The Million Pound Drop
One I used recently which received particularly positive feedback from the students was a version of ‘million pound drop’. For those not familiar with the format, it is essentially a multiple choice quiz with 4 potential answers per question. Players start round one with £1 million (usually divided in to £50K bundles) and have choose which answer to put their money on. They can divide their money up between answers or if they are certain about one answer, they will put all their money on that. They only keep the money that is on the correct answer when it is revealed. The winners are obviously the group who has the most money left at the end of the game.
The reason I particularly like using this game with students is that it challenges the strength of their convictions and promotes a great deal of discussion and consideration between groups. It also links to the multiple choice part of their exam in the particular specification that we follow. We always go back over the questions at the end of the game and discuss the areas which we feel we most need to recap as a class, which is obviously incredibly important in the long run for the group. The game works really well for this as pupils have a clear visual sign of the questions they feel most comfortable on, by reflecting on how committed they were to an answer.