Not originally my idea but I have adapted it from an email I received years ago from Classroom Power.
It’s great fun and as it is rather topical, seems a good time to share!
This game can be used at any level and you can use ‘Memory Football’ to recap any subject material.
Your class will love the game so much that you could even use it as a reward for good behaviour.
Like football, Memory Football is played between two teams.
The purpose of the game is to score goals.
Goals are scored by quickly answering questions posed by the referee.
Rules: There is only one rule in Memory Football. Keep The Referee Happy. You’re the Referee!
An IWB or Wipe Board, a marker and a set of short answer, often one word, review questions that you have created. You will be reading the questions from this list; arrange them in groups from easiest to hardest.
The Set Up:
Draw a horizontal line, near the bottom of your board. Mark off the line in 11 equidistant vertical marks. The horizontal line stands for a soccer field; each end of the line is the goal; the vertical marks divide the pitch into units.
Place a marker under the vertical mark in the middle of the field. The marker is the ball.
(This could easily be created in SMART or any presentation software.)
How To Play:
Divide the class into two teams.
(We’ll use boys against girls, but it could be right side of the class against left side, etc.)
Each team chooses the other team’s captain.
To start the game, the captains stand face to face at the front of the room. You pose one of your review questions and, just as in “Family Fortunes”, the captains slap their hands down on a desk as quickly as possible if they know the answer.
The captain who is quickest, gets the chance to answer.
If they are right, his/her team gets the ball. Otherwise, the opposing team’s captain gets the ball.
Assume the girls’ team wins control. Picking one player at a time, ask review questions to the girls’ team.
If the player’s answer is correct, loud, fast and with an energetic gesture, that counts as a “strong kick.” Advance the ball, the marker, almost a full hash mark down the pitch toward the boys’ goal.
If the answer is correct but too quiet or slow or doesn’t have an energetic gesture, then that is a “weak kick.” Advance the ball a short distance toward the boys’ goal. If the girls’ answer is wrong, shout “Possession Lost!” and now the boys’ team gets a chance to play.
If you like a rowdy classroom, encourage teams to cheer when the ball is going their direction and groan when it isn’t. Thus, every time the ball moves, you’ll have cheering and groaning.
Use the following to add excitement to Memory Football:
Whenever you, the Referee, want to reverse the direction of the game, shout “Tackle!” This means the other team has suddenly gotten control of the ball. Of course, you will shout “Tackle!” whenever you want to generate an intense amount of excitement … like when one team is very close to the goal and just about to score.
Whenever one team or the other misbehaves in the slightest, complains about the ref’s call, anything, you shout “Foul!” As the Ref, you then have three choices. You can award control of the ball to the opposing team; you can move the ball up or down the field, penalizing one team or the other; or, most exciting, you can declare a Penalty Kick.
(Encourage teams to cheer or groan as appropriate.)
Move the ball to the first mark in front of the opposition’s goal. The attacking team chooses a kicker, usually the team captain. The defending team chooses a goalie, usually the team captain. Goalie and kicker face off in front of the room, like the initial kickoff. You ask a question; the player who slaps a hand down first gets first try at the question. If the goalie is first and correct, the penalty kick is blocked. If the goalie is wrong, the penalty kick scores. If the captain is first and correct, the penalty kick scores. If the captain is first and wrong, the penalty kick is blocked.
If a goal is scored, the scoring team shouts “Gooooooaaaaalll!!!” like Andres Cantor, the famous Mexican announcer.
Often in football, neither team is in control of the ball.
When you shout “Free Kick!”, anyone on either team can answer.
Fire questions at your students; when one side gets several questions in a row correct, point at them and say, “You won the Free Kick!”
Then start giving questions to individual players on the winning team.
Read The Ref’s Mind Free Kick!
For hilarious excitement, say, “I’m thinking of a key concept we covered. Free Kick! Read my mind!” Both teams shout answers at you, energetically covering enormous quantities of revision material … give them hints as you wish.
Award control of the ball to the team that reads your mind, or, failing that, that has the most attempts at reading your mind.
You will use an enormous number of review questions in Memory Football; thus, it is important to have a list so you can keep the game moving along quickly.
You can use any question, addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, national capitals, key concepts from science, names of characters in stories, anything.
Keep the ball moving up and down the field.
Make the game as exciting as you wish by shouting Tackle!, Penalty Kick!, Free Kick! or Read The Ref’s Mind Free Kick!.
Never let one team get more than one goal ahead of the other.
Give the weakest players easier questions; stronger players get harder questions. If you like award answers that are particularly good, or where a child does particularly well a “very strong kick.”
Play for only a minute or two every few days.
Make your class work hard to earn the right to play Memory Football.
If you use it infrequently and briefly, the game will be a tremendous motivator for positive in-class behaviour.
Think about that.
Your class is working as hard as possible to earn the right to revise what you have wanted them to learn!
It is a simple game, good for plenaries and intermediary times like lining up.
Easy to adapt and change around for different outcomes.
Hope it’s useful.