After finishing a unit and before taking the end of chapter test, it is important to review the concepts learned. I taught 5th graders and was constantly looking for ways to keep these reviews interesting. Instead of doing a Jeopardy review each time, I came up with a few new techniques. One of my favorites was the Create Your Own Character review.

Here’s how it worked:

I explained to the students that for our review, they would be creating their own characters. I kind of put a video game spin on it to help create interest. As students answered certain questions, they would be able to use markers, crayons, construction paper, etc. to add pieces to their character. For example, they needed to first answer a review question before they could add eyes to their printed silhouette.

  1. Each student picked a silhouette like the ones seen below. (You can click on those images and download them for your own class).
  1. I then gave the students a packet with questions categorized in levels. For example, the first level was the head. In order to pass level 1, the student had to unlock eyes and a mouth by answer those specific questions. This allowed me to force students to answer certain questions on the review. They could also unlock a mustache, a nose, hair, and ears, but it was not required to move to level 2. The example questions that I used for my 5th grade math lesson on multiplying and dividing decimals are available in PDF to view and better understand the concept and DOCX to download and edit for yourself.
  1. As the students were answering the questions and finishing the levels, I would circulate and check answers. Which ever student finished first at each table group became the designated checker for that group. All other students would then get their answers checked by their table checker. As students continued to work, I was able to circulate and help out where needed. It was easy for me to see if a student was struggling with a concept because they would stop production on their character.
  1. Students did finish their reviews at different times so, to combat students sitting and waiting, I had challenge questions where students could unlock “special abilities” for their character. I also had students come up their their own questions for other students.

My students loved this type of review! They weren’t required to answer all the questions, they could work at their own pace, and they split up the work by creating their character throughout. Once it is done in class, you could also send this as a homework review before a test. These characters can also be laminated and used for other aspects in the classroom as well such as behavior management, attendance, or job charts. 

If you have any questions or have other cool chapter review ideas, comment below and let us know! 

The costumed figures section of ClipArt ETC includes many interesting images that capture students’ imagination. We’ve created outlines of 20 people that will work well for this project and formatted them as PDFs for ease of printing.

Nate Wolkenhauer is a veteran elementary educator with experience teaching in Florida and Pennsylvania. While teaching, he focused on student engagement and technology integration in the classroom and was recognized as one of the top educators in the state of Florida by the Florida Department of Education. As the current Assistant Director of FCIT, he works to build curriculum and programs promoting technology integration in K-12 classrooms and informal education environments.

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