As the end of the year approaches, I am digging through my
teacher files, trying to find the best review tools and resources. Of all the
ways to review, task cards are one of my absolute favorites. I love task cards
for several reasons:
- They get students up and moving.
- Students love completing the activities.
- They take very little time to set up, unlike
most other review games and activities.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, there are countless ways to use task cards! Here are seven of my favorite task card activities for a unit review or before state testing.
1. Scoot Classroom Game
One of the most common ways to use task cards is as a scoot game. In case you are unfamiliar with the term “scoot,” a scoot game is simply an activity that gets students up and moving as they rotate through different stations to answer questions or complete activities. There are a few ways to complete a scoot classroom game.
The most traditional way to use task cards is to set them at
stations around the room. You can use desks, center stations, or even just sit
the cards on the floor. As students rotate through the stations, they record
the answer for each card on a task card recording sheet. It is up to you to
determine whether students can freely move to each station or can only move
when a timer goes off.
Another scoot classroom game you can play with task cards is
a version of read the wall. You will still place the task cards at different
locations around the room, but you will tape the cards to the wall. Students
will rotate through the room and should not remove the cards from the wall.
2. Task Card Scavenger Hunt
The task card scavenger hunt is one of my students’ favorite
ways to use task cards. For this review activity, place your cards at different
locations around the room. It is up to you to decide whether the cards are
placed out in the open or hidden. If the weather is nice, you can even complete
this activity outside. For each task card, write the corresponding numbers on
pieces of paper, fold the papers, and put them in a basket.
Each student will draw a number. Then, they must find the
task card with the same number. When they find the correct card, they should
write the response to the question on their task card recording sheet and,
then, put the card back exactly where they found it. Students should continue
selecting numbers from the basket and searching for cards until they find all
the task cards.
3. Task Card Parking Lot
The task card parking lot is among my favorite ways to use
task cards because of its simplicity. Neatly, arrange all of your task cards in
numerical order on a table. Students select a task card and take it back to
their desk. At their desk, students respond to the question on their task card
recording sheet. Then, they return the card to the table and select a new card.
They continue this process until they have had an opportunity to take each task
card back to their desk. An important thing to keep in mind with this system is
that students should always return the task cards to the table in numerical
order. This will keep the cards organized and ensure that it is easy for each
student to find the card they need.
4. Classroom Game Show
To create a classroom game show, divide the class into four to five teams. Each team should put their desks together and get a team whiteboard. Rather than handing the task cards out to each team, display each task card on the board using a SMART Board or document camera. Set a timer, giving the teams a limited amount of time to work together and write the answer on their whiteboard. When the timer goes off, each team holds up their answer. Teams with the correct answer receive points. This is another one of my students’ favorite task card activities because they get to work with other students and compete against the other teams.
5. Jeopardy Game
Speaking of classroom game shows, another great way to use
task cards is with a classroom game of Jeopardy. For this activity, divide the
task cards into categories. For example, if using math task cards to review for
state testing, you could group them into categories such as place value,
fractions, measurement, and geometry. For each category, write a point value on
the back of each task card. Then, tape all the task cards to a wall or the
board with the point values showing.
Once again, students are divided into teams. Each team
selects a category and point value. Read the question from the selected card
and give the team a fixed amount of time to respond. If they respond
incorrectly, allow another team to steal the points.
6. Partner Task Games
Task cards are great for partner work. There are several ways students can work with a partner to review with task cards. First, give each set of partners a Ziploc bag with a set of task cards. Partners can find a spot to work together and record their answers on their task card recording sheet.
The second option is similar to the
first. Students find a partner and a place to work. But, instead of having
their own set of cards, project each card individually on the board. This
option is great if you work in a district that limits printing.
The third way to use task cards for partner work is called speed dating (No, this activity does not actually encourage students to date!). Arrange two rows of chairs that are facing each other. Half of the class sits in the first row of chairs and does not move throughout the activity. The other half of the class sits in the second row of chairs and moves over one chair after each question. Display the questions on the board, one at a time. Students discuss the correct answer with the person directly across from them. After the correct answer is revealed, the students in the second row move over one chair. This gives students the opportunity to work and discuss ideas with different classmates.
7. Four Corners for Multiple-Choice Task Cards
This activity only works if all the task cards have multiple-choice responses. Assign each corner of the room a different letter. Read or display a task card and its options. Students move to the corner that matches what they think is the correct answer. For example, if they think the correct answer is A, they would move to the corner that represents A.
Want to take a closer look at all the activities shared here? Make sure to check out this video!
Review activities should be fun and engaging. There are countless ways to use task cards to engage students individually, in partners, or as a class! If you are looking for a review activity before a unit test or at the end of the school year, you should definitely consider using task cards.
If you know you want to use task cards for your next review activity, but don’t have the time to make them, I’ve got you covered! I have task card sets for a variety of grade levels and subjects in my store. Some of my most popular task cards include my math task cards and U.S. History task cards.