Friday, May 29, 2009

Review Games: Battleship

Battleship is another old classic that is ideally suited for a whole class review session. The version of Battleship that I am using is a PowerPoint template that I found somewhere on the web. Unfortunately, despite searching, I can't find the original link and therefore can't give credit to the creator! You may download the template from my wiki

The template provides the option, like Jeopardy, to type your questions onto individual slides. You can also read from old tests and have students listen and respond verbally. Typing the question into the template requires more preparation but eliminates the need for you to constantly repeat the questions to students who aren't paying attention, plus is a lot better for visual learners. 

After a team answers a question correctly they have the opportunity to "fire" on the other team by selecting a square on the Battleship slide. The square changes to an X to indicate a miss and an explosion symbol on a hit. 

The template is adequate but lacks a couple of features that would make it more enjoyable. First, it is impossible to change the locations of the ships. Theoretically, students can memorize the ship coordinates if you play this game more than once (if only they would spend as much energy studying for the test!!!). Secondly, this template is obviously dated and could use an upgrade in graphics- the current setup is very 1 dimensional. I have also noticed quite a bit of lag-time between the initial click on one of the squares to the appearance of the X or explosion symbol. The programing behind the template is weak. 

Despite these shortcomings this template is adequate, and is an easy review game to throw together 10 minutes before class starts. I typically divide my class into two teams and have each student attempt to answer a question. Get it right and you get to fire on the other team, get it wrong and the other team has an opportunity to answer the question correctly and fire on you. It's a big game board so you can go through a lot of questions!

This review game is ideally suited for an interactive whiteboard. I use my Wiiboard when I play this game. The students enjoy coming up to the screen and choosing a square to reveal. 


  1. John, I love how you are using all these games to review for exams! I know it takes a lot of prep, but hopefully now that the games are built, you can just make small revisions each year.

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