December 6, 2017
Lesson Launch: a weekly academic social studies teaching tips blog, which occasionally touches on other topics.
By Dr. Paul E. Binford
President, Mississippi Council of the Social Studies
Begin (or end) your next class with a “Powerpoint Challenge”!
Select a top ten list that is relevant to your subject area (e.g., the ten states with the most electoral votes for US Government, or the ten largest nations based on land size/territory for World Geography, or the ten nations with the highest per capita income for Economics, etc.).
Using the electoral vote challenge as an example, the first step is to create a Powerpoint slide instructing students to stand by the sign of the state with the largest number of electoral votes (which, of course, is California). Then, create a slide that reveals the correct state (also include an outline map of the state and the state’s electoral vote count). Continue to create two slides for all ten states. Finally, create and randomly post signs for each of the ten states around your classroom.
When students enter your classroom tomorrow, have the first Powerpoint slide posted on the screen. Once all your students have stood next to the state they believe is the correct answer, then reveal the next slide with the correct state. The students who stood by the sign with “California” continue on to the next round, while the students who stood by the incorrect signs must sit down. Continue through the remaining slides until every student is eliminated or all ten states are revealed.
To give you a head start, here are the ten states with the most electoral votes (their electoral vote totals are in parentheses):
New York (29)
North Carolina (15)