Even though biology is a high school course, students still need to review it. More importantly, students need engaging review activities.
Simply put, students do not want to just sit at their desks and complete review problems from the textbook.
Let’s take a look at six engaging biology review activities that your students will actually enjoy!
1 – Kahoot
Kahoot is probably one of the most popular review platforms for students of all ages and subjects.
It is a website that lets you make interactive quiz games for your students and host them. Kahoot also houses a library of pre-created Kahoots, where you can search and use what works for you if time is short.
But, teachers have all the time in the world, right? (wink, wink)
Kahoot has free and paid versions. Personally, I only have the free version, and it fits the needs of my classroom perfectly.
This platform is often used to review and reinforce important ideas, and it can be a fun and interesting way for high school students to review material. Students are presented with the review questions and possible answers on their devices. A time limit is set for each question, and students need to answer within that time frame. Students want to answer as fast as they can in order to earn the most points possible.
Many students will treat it as if they are in a competition, which gets them more involved in the review process!
2 – Blooket
Blooket is a newer review activity for classroom use but is very engaging for students. Students look at the interactive nature of Blooket!
Like Kahoot, Blooket is a free web-based game platform that lets teachers create their own questions or choose from a variety of pre-loaded games.
It can be used in real-time in the classroom or assigned as homework.
Students can work individually, or you can have the platform choose groups for students to work in. As students answer questions correctly, they earn points, which can be used in the game store to customize or advance their avatar within the game.
When assigning a Blooket, you can choose from a variety of game modes, which have different themes and targets.
For example, the Tower Defense game mode is a classic game where students can build tower defense and factory stations and get tokens for answering questions correctly.
3 – Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are also a popular review activity in high school classrooms.
Escape rooms are what you, the teacher, make of them. This review activity can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Furthermore, escape rooms can be done on paper or digitally.
Whether on paper or technology-based, escape rooms are interactive puzzle games where players work together to find clues and solve content-based puzzles to get out of a themed “scenario” within a certain amount of time. Students can only move on to the next task when the previous one is solved and deemed correct.
If done on paper, students are given folders with each activity in them. Students work to solve that specific task and check their final answer with you. If correct, students will receive the next folder. If the students are incorrect, they go back and rework the current task.
A digital escape room is more of a self-checking activity. Many digital escape rooms are created using Google Forms. When creating the digital escape room, you can conditionally format the Google Forms to only move on to the next question when they type the correct answer. If students type the incorrect answer, the Google Form will not progress, forcing the students to go back to the previous screen.
The ultimate goal of an escape room is to be the first team done.
In addition to reviewing content, escape rooms also foster teamwork and problem-solving skills.
4 – Review Games
One of the oldest review activities in the classroom is physical review games. These games get students off of their devices and force them to interact with one another and the teacher.
Some examples of review games include Jeopardy-like games and bingo.
Even though review games similar to Jeopardy are somewhat dated, students are still engaged when playing. Students enjoy real-time competitiveness against their classmates. These types of games also allow all students to focus on one question, which lets you provide remediation on the spot if you notice students have misconceptions.
Bingo is also an older, but still popular review game. You can use bingo to review biology definitions or specific concepts, such as cell organelles. You can make bingo cards for the students or give them a blank card. If given a blank card, students can write in the terms or concepts where they want.
5 – Review with Doodle Notes
If you read my post on ways to use Doodle Notes in your classroom, you know that I have a special place in my heart for Doodle Notes.
Using these as a review activity is my preferred method for making use of Doodle Notes.
Doodle Notes are great for reviewing material that has already been addressed in the lesson.
If you have used Doodle Notes before, students should need little, if any, guidance. If this is your first time using them, students may need some assistance, but they should catch on fairly quickly.
When using Doodle Notes for review, give students the opportunity to work through the Doodle Notes independently or in small groups for the majority of class time. Students can use either their own notes, binders, or devices.
At the end of class, show the class a finished example of the Doodle Notes using either your SmartBoard or a projector. At this time, students can fill in any missing information in their notes to make sure they have all the important information.
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6 – Boom Cards
Lastly, Boom Cards are one of my favorite review activities to use in the classroom. Not only do I love using Boom cards, but my students do, too!
Boom Cards are interactive flashcards that help review biology concepts learned in class. As the teacher, you can create multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blank questions, and drag-and-drop tasks.
The best part of Boom Cards? The instant data.
Yep… you heard that right – instant data for the students and you.
Boom Cards are self-correcting, so students have instantaneous feedback regarding their progress.
As students complete the Boom Cards, reports are automatically generated to let you know what students are getting correct and incorrect.
Boom Cards can be used with a free-account, but you will only be able to use “fast-pin” mode and won’t gain access to the reporting features. The yearly subscription price is minimal and can (usually) be covered by a school district. I fully believe that Boom Cards are worth the paid subscription for all of the features.
Want to try a set of Boom Cards? Check out a preview of my Levels of Organization Boom Cards!
Try a new type of review
There are so many types of biology review activities to use with your classes.
The six review activities I’ve listed here are just a sampling of what’s available. Every year, more are being created.
Let me know if there are any other types of review activities you like to use in your classroom! Just hit reply to any of my weekly emails (and if you haven’t signed up, you can do this here!) – I’d love to hear your ideas!
I hope you have a wonderful day,