Language Arts Activity
In this activity, students create a game show based on information about
ancient civilizations and cultures.
WHAT YOU NEED
Reference material about ancient civilizations,
textbooks, nonfiction books, and encyclopedias
Large index cards (or tagboard cut to about that size)
Twine, yarn, or rings to bind cards
Drawing materials and props as needed to create game show
atmosphere (contestant tables, scoreboards, stopwatch,
Video and/or audio recorder (optional)
WHAT TO DO
1.Discuss with students television game shows that require
contestants to have learned information about many subjects.
Explain that they are going to have the chance to participate in
that kind of a show, but first they need to prepare
resources that the contestants can study. These resources are
mini-encyclopedias about ancient civilizations.
2.Have students divide into research teams, each of which
responsible for making notes about one of the following
Empire of Mali (Africa)
Song Dynasty (China)
Tang Dynasty (China)
3.Have students write, on index cards, a summary in outline
the information they gather. This summary should
include information on as many as possible of the following areas:
Biography (that is, important historical figures)
Science and technology
Suggest that students use graphic aids (such
as time lines and
maps) where necessary to make the information easier to
4.On the last card of each encyclopedia, students write
at least five
study questions that can be answered by studying the
information in the encyclopedia.
5.Have students bind each set of cards to form books, one
civilization. Create a sign-up sheet for each book.
Explain to students that everyone who hopes to compete in Recall:
The Knowledge Game should study each book and
master the information in it before going on to the next one.
Suggest that if students study in pairs, they can quiz each
other, using the questions at the end.
6.To prepare for the quiz show, form a planning committee
one student volunteer from each research team.
This group draws up the plans for the program by considering such
issues as these:
How contestants compete (for example, individually or as
Organization of the questions (that is, by what categories)
Point value for each correct answer
How contestants signal their readiness to answer
What happens if the contestant gives the wrong answer?
7.Choose other student volunteers to serve in the following
Question experts, who write the final questions (based on the
ones in each encyclopedia) and judge the answers
Production crews, who put together the set for the quiz show
and run the video or audio recorder.
Writers, who write a script for the masters of ceremony and
Artists, who design the set.
Directors, who give cues and keep things moving.
Once you know how many students wish to compete, you might have a series
of classroom quiz shows each day (rotating
responsibility for questions, production, master of ceremonies, and
announcer), culminating with a championship match in front
of a wider audience on the last day.
To make the game show format even more authentic, have writers and
graphic artists in the class prepare commercials for the
sponsors: information providers or resources. For example, one team
might write and produce an ad for the library, another for
on-line information sources, and a third for a local museum. Integrate
the commercials into the final production.