As for that one, this activity can be a fun revision of topics your students are already familiar with. You can allow a couple of hours at the end of one of more work units. In my classes we had been studying Western European countries and our activities dealt with the cities, landscapes, languages and traditions we had found during our "European journey".
up to 30 students - 12/13 years old (but of course activities can be adapted to suit any age range)
pupils working in teams (number of teams depending on how many States they have studied)
About 2 hours needed
Instructions given in English - pupils being free to answer and discuss both in English and mother tongue.
- for the "tuning in" activity: pictures of cities or monuments of the different countries (one for each student)
I had 24 students and we had studied 6 countries, so I had prepared 24 pieces of paper with images of well known cities of those countries. For each country, there was the capital city + 3 other cities (as I needed 6 groups of 4 students).
- for the secon part (betting game): that's the same simple activity of the History lesson-plan. I had prepared a ppt presentation with 20 multiple/choice questions (English). As usual, there were questions dealing with what we had studied plus a bunch of funny questions (show-biz, weird traditions, funny facts).
1) Pick an image and guess where you are. Now, go make groups. Students have to show their picture, look at those of the others, and then try to understand how to make groups. If you give them pictures of famous monuments and landscapes, they'll be sitting in their groups in a matter of minutes.
2) Are you in your groups? Now, who has the capital city? The "owners" of the capital cities will be the group's spokesman. Starting with group 1, can the spokesman please tell me: which State do you represent? The team leader says for instance "we represent the United Kingdom, and I have London, the capital city."
3) Starting with group 1, can each member of the team please name their city? Double check that all of the students are in the right group: remeber the capital city is the easiest one! Your students may have had a quite harder time trying to recognize different cities.
[Personal note: in Geography, I believe seeing is the core point: you can't just study a country on written lines, because you won't understand what you're not able to see. We're so lucky now, with the amount of technology we can use to actually see the world! So be sure to offer your students plenty of opportunities to see (and work on) images of different countries: they'll understand better, they'll remember more easily, and they'll probably want to visit them in the future!]
As usual, if one or more of the students aren't in the correct group, they will hopefully realize it with the help of the others. Let them move to the correct group.
4) Now, go to the map of Europe in your book. Can the spokesman please tell me where your country is located? (you can ask some more questions here about languages/climate/ economy... you name it: Geography is such a wide world! Anyway, remember to be very specific in your questions, or you'll spend all of your time on this step).
5) Sit in your groups. We will have now a betting game: who will be our millionaire?
Each group starts with a treasure of 100 gold pieces.
You will be asked 20 multiple choice questions. The group has to bet on the right answer. You can bet from a minimum of 10 gold pieces up to all the gold you have. But be careful in your bet: for if you are right, you'll win the gold you bet. But if you are wrong, you'll lose it.
6) I close the activity, as usual, asking: is there anything else you would like to know about these countries? Tricky question, once again - in Geography you'll have to be ready to answer about all of the human knowledge of the last 5000 years - or send them to a colleague, saying "that looks more like Science. Ask your teacher, maybe she knows best!"