In this activity, pairs or small groups of students compete against other groups to answer written questions. It could be called a low tech version of a Socrative quiz. It’s most easily done with a whiteboard and projector but it could certainly be done with a blackboard instead. You just need a list of 8-12 questions and some slips of paper.
The questions you choose depend on the level of your students. With exam classes you could use a transformations activity, for example. With my 10-11 year olds, I used a list of 12 sentences, some of which were correct, but most of which contained a mistake. The students had to identify the correct ones and correct the others. If you have some classware with your textbook, you could project an exercise directly from the book.
Ask the pairs or groups to come up with a team name and list the teams vertically on the board. Write the numbers if the questions along the horizontal axis. This chart should be visible on the board next to the questions.
Tell the students that they are to start with question 1 and write their answer on a slip of paper. Then they must bring it to you. If it is correct, you will give their team a tick for question 1 on the chart in the board. If it’s incorrect, you will say so and the students must go back and try again. The winning team was the first team to get ticks for all the questions. The students can see their own progress and the progress of the other teams. My classes got really competitive and worked hard together to get the answers right and beat the other teams.
Because they have to think so hard about the ones they get wrong and get such a pay-off when they get them right, the idea is that they will be aware of making the same mistakes in future and remember the appropriate solutions. I allowed my students to use their books to help them, or to use dictionaries, or even to cheat by looking through the slips of paper to see what the other teams wrote.