U.S. Government, Social Studies
The purpose of this lesson is to review students’ knowledge of key concepts and terms related to Congress.
Procedure/Guided Practice (60 minutes)
This activity is based on a game called “Shenanigans.” See attached game instructions.
1.0 Forming groups and game instruction (10 minutes)
1.1 Divide students into even numbered groups, 8 students per group.
1.2 Give each group a copy of the attached game instructions and a bowl with the slips of paper listing terms inside. Make sure the slips are folded in half so students cannot see them before they choose from the bowl.
1.3 Verbally give the game instructions, explaining how the game is played. Make sure to emphasize the following information regarding each round:
1.3.1 Students cannot say any part of the phrase during round 1 when they are trying to get their team to guess the term.
1.3.2 Students must ONLY SAY ONE WORD during round 2. For this to work the teacher must be strict and monitor the groups as much as possible during this round. “Um” counts as a word and the student must be quiet and have their team guess. They are also not allowed to point or act anything out for this round.
1.3.3 In round 3 students cannot make any noise, but they can point around the room or use any information on the walls.
2.0 Review game (45 minutes)
2.1 Students will play the game in their groups, with each team keeping their own score.
2.2 The teacher should keep track of the 30-second segments and cue the groups to start, and then ring the bell at the end of the 30 seconds.
2.3 The bowl is then passed on to the next student in the circle and they wait for the teacher to announce when to start.
2.4 Walk around while the groups are playing in order to monitor them and be sure they are playing fairly and correctly.
Independent Practice: Students must think about the key terms on their own and come up with a way to describe the term in order for their team to guess correctly.
Informal: Teacher observation of groups while the students are playing the game. The teacher should also check for understanding after directions are given to be sure that students are clear on the rules.
Formal: The test following the review game is the formal assessment for this lesson.
Closure (5 minutes)
The teacher should ask the students if they have any final questions about any of the key terms for the Congress unit.
Modification for Special Needs
Mixed ability groupsAllow for the use of Spanish/English dictionaries
Shenanigan Terms (See “Sample Terms for Shenanigans”)Bowls to put the phrases in, key terms cut into squares, a bell, and a clock with a second hand or a timer.
Adapted from “Congress” by Erica Powell, Mt. Diablo High School, Concord, CA