5 Successful Review Activities for Elementary Students

Fun Review Ideas, Activities, and Games

The 3-2-1 Pyramid Review Strategy is a great way to review skills. &copy Janelle Cox

Review sessions are inevitable in the classroom, and for many teachers, it can be a rather uninspiring exercise. Too often, review activities feel boring and may leave your students feeling unengaged. But, it doesn't have to be that way. By choosing some fun and engaging activities, a traditionally mundane review session can become an active and inspiring session. Check out these five teacher-tested review lessons with your students.

Graffiti Wall

When students here the words "it's review time," you might get a bunch of groans. But, by turning the review session into a hands-on activity, students will be more likely to enjoy the exercise and even better retain the information. 

Here's how it works:

  • Place a variety of different colored dry erase markers on the front board(or different colored chalk if you have a chalkboard).
  • Then give students a review topic, and randomly call about three to five students at a time to the board.
  • The students' goal is to think of any word that associates with the given topic.
  • Students can write the word any way they like (sideways, up and down, backward, etc.)
  • One rule you must enforce is that students cannot repeat any word that is on the board.
  • Once all the students have had a turn, pair them up and have each student tell their partner about five of the words on the board.
  • View pictures and learn more about this great graffiti wall review activity here.

3-2-1 Strategy

The 3-2-1 review strategy is a great way for students to review just about anything in an easy and simple format. There are a few ways you can use this strategy, but often, the preferred way is to draw a pyramid.

Here's how it works:

  • Students are given a review topic and told to draw a pyramid in their notebook.
  • Their goal is to write down three things they learned, two things they thought was interesting, and one question they still have. You can adapt this activity any way you want. Instead of asking a question on the top of the pyramid, students can write a summary sentence. Or, instead of writing two things they found interesting, they can write two vocabulary words. It is very easily adaptable.
  •  View a picture of the 3-2-1 review pyramid.

Post-It Practice

If your students love the game "Headbands," then they will love playing this review game.

Here's what you have to do to get started.

  • Provide each student with a Post-it note, and have them write down one review term on it.
  • Then without the other students seeing the note, have each student choose one person to stick their note to their forehead.
  • The goal of this activity is for students to go around the room and try to explain the term without using the actual term.
  • Make sure that each student has the opportunity to go around the room and explain each term.

Move Ahead of the Class

This review game is the perfect way to incorporate teamwork while reviewing important skills.

Here is how you play:

  • Divide students into teams of two, then have students stand in a row where one student is behind one other.
  • Use the squares of the floor as the game board and tape off a finish line.
  • To play the game, have one person from each team face-off by answering a review question. The first person to answer it correctly moves ahead to the next square.​
  • After the first question, the next person in line takes the place of the student who got the answer correct.
  • The game goes on until one team crosses the finish line.

Sink or Swim

Sink or Swim is a fun review game that will have your students working together as a team in order to win the game. Here's what you need to know to play the game:

  • Divide students into two teams and have them form a line and face one another.
  • Then ask team 1 a question, and if they get it right, they can choose one person from the other team to sink.
  • Then ask team 2 a question, and if they get the answer right, they may either sink their opponents' team member or save their sunken team member.
  • The winning team is the one with the most people at the end.