You don't need to be Alex Trebek to run a game of Jeopardy for your students. Use a game of classroom Jeopardy to quiz students on new material or prepare them for a test. Like the television game show, players earn points for correct answers and lose points for the wrong response. Tailor the game to fit your subject from biology to economics.
Come Up With Categories
Develop 12 categories for the Jeopardy game. A standard game of Jeopardy has six categories in the first round and six in the Double Jeopardy round. You may have fewer categories if your topics are limited. For example, if your Jeopardy game is on US History, you can have categories such as “US Wars,” “Presidents,” “Colonies” and “American Government.”
Think of Questions Related to Each Category
Write down five questions and answers for each topic and one question for Final Jeopardy. The questions should range from easy to hard, with the hardest questions being worth the most points on the game board. The questions can be written in standard question format or in the Jeopardy format where the answer is given. An example of the Jeopardy format is “He was the first president of the United States.” If written in this format, the response must be given in the form of a question: “Who is George Washington?"
Design the Classroom Jeopardy Board
Create a grid on the chalkboard with six categories listed across the top. Draw a column of five boxes beneath each category. For the first round, the boxes start with 200 at the top, then 400, 600, 800 and 1,000 progressing downward. The 200 point question is the easiest while the 1,000 is the hardest.
Designate the "Daily Double" Questions
Choose two spaces on the board to be “Daily Double” questions. Mark these spaces on the question sheet and only reveal them to the team if they pick that space on the board. If picked, a team can wager any amount of points up to their current score. If they answer correctly the team earns the points; answering wrong costs them those points.
Explain the Rules of a Jeopardy Review Game
Before you can start the game, you must explain the rules of Jeopardy for the classroom. Keep in mind that Jeopardy rules for groups will be a little different than the show, which has only three contestants.
Split the class into three teams. Give one buzzer to each team and begin the game. Choose one team to pick the first category. Read the question and the first team who buzzes in gets 10 seconds to answer the question. You can choose to allow discussion between teammates or have the teams switch off individual players to answer each question.
Whoever buzzes first and gives a correct answer, will earn the point value of that question. If the wrong answer is given, they'll lose that value, however, some teachers may decide to only reward points instead of taking them away. If the team gets it wrong, the other two teams are given a chance to answer. The team who gives the correct answer gains control of the board and chooses the next category and point value.
Start Double Jeopardy
When all categories in the first round are used up, redraw the board with six new categories and the following point values: 400, 800, 1,200, 1,600 and 2,000. Pick two more Daily Double questions from the question sheet. Play the second round just like the first round.
Start Final Jeopardy
At the end of the second round, any team with a positive score plays in Final Jeopardy. Give the players a category and ask them to wager any point value up to their current score. After wagers have been made, read the question and allow 30 seconds for the teams to write down an answer. Have each team read their answer and award or deduct points based on their wager. The team with the highest score at the end of Final Jeopardy wins.
If for some reason at least two of the teams have the same amount of points, then it's important to read up on the Jeopardy rules for a tie. If this happens after Final Jeopardy, then there will be a "sudden death" round, in which the teacher will give one more question that has no dollar or point amount. The team that answers it correctly, first, is the winner! Also, the team that gives the wrong answer is automatically loses their chance at coming in first.
Dan Chruscinski has written pieces for both business and entertainment venues. His work has appeared in "Screen Magazine" as well as websites such as Starpulse.com. Chruscinski graduated in 2006 with a degree in English literature from Illinois State University.