Education Study Game: The Unfair Game

While browsing Google looking for a new study/review game I could play with my Spanish and Science students, I came across this game called the "Unfair Game" and then adapted it to my style of teaching, trying to make a little more interactive and fun.

I used the Smartboard Notebook software to create this game.  You could however, use any number of methods to play even if you don't have an interactive white board or a projector.  Here is my basic set up:

  1. Create a new file in your interactive software.  I called it the "Unfair Game" but any title will work.
  2. Create a grid of negative and positive numbers.  I usually use a 4X4 array, but depending on how many students and rounds you will be playing you can make it bigger or smaller. I use -9 to 9.  Most numbers will have an opposite pair, but a couple of numbers won't.
  3. Now randomly mix up your numbers into the grid.
  4. Place a few of the "Balloon Pop" interactive balloons.  If you don't have Smart Notebook software then you can create the grid on your board using construction paper with one side blank and the other side with your positive and negative numbers.
    • free study game smartboard.jpg
  5. When you are ready your review game will look like this.
    • review game using smartboard.jpg
  6. Now divide your class into teams, 1-4 teams works just fine.
  7. The object of the game is to be the team with the total number of points closest to 0, a -1 will beat out a 2.
  8. Ask team one a question.  If they get the question correct, they can either choose a balloon to pop, or pass the balloon pop to a team of their choice.  If they get the question wrong, I usually go to the next team, but you can also choose to force them to take the balloon without a chance to pass it.
  9. The balloon is popped and the number added to their total score.  For students who struggle with positive and negative integers, this game is great for practicing.
  10. Team two then tries to answer the next question and the game continues until all the balloons are popped.
  11. The team with an ending score of closest to 0 is the winner.

I play this study game with high school students all the time.  It is amazing how competitive it can be.  Give it a shot an let me know how it goes.