Review Games for the ELA Classroom

Review Games for the ELA Classroom

We all know students love review games, and while there are plenty of online game platforms, like Gimkit, Kahoot, and Blooket, sometimes, it’s nice to unplug and play exciting games without those Chromebooks.  Often, these are more engaging review games for the ELA classroom, not only for the students, but also for us as the teacher.  

Some of our favorite review games for the ELA classroom that we have played over the years include the following: “Attack the Castle,”  “Piece it Together,”  “Pop,” “Skunk,” “Pass the Chicken,”  and a game called “The Joker”.  We just know that you and your students are going to love them!

These review games for the ELA classroom will work for just about anything you need to review.  It could be literary terms, vocabulary terms, grammar questions, etc.  

Attack the Castle

Attack the Castle is a fan favorite for students!  Divide students into groups of three to five students.  You decide how many students per group depending on your class size.  Allow each group to send one person to the board and draw a castle or any other mansion, house, tent, or structure they want to attack.  You could save time and print some different castles and place them on the board or around the room.  Take turns choosing a task card (fancy term for question) for groups to answer.  If the group answering gets the answer right, allow them to “attack” one of the other group’s castles by placing an X on it.  If the group answers the question wrong, the teacher puts an X on that group’s castle.  Once a castle has three Xs, it is destroyed.  However, the team can still play to get revenge on other groups.  The group with the last castle standing is the winner. Click here for printable directions for Attack the Castle.  

Piece it Together

Piece it Together uses  an easy puzzle for each group of students.  You can buy these at the Dollar Tree.  Try to find puzzles that are no more than 25 pieces. We found some in small metal tin cases.   Provide a question to the groups.     You may let the group confer when answering or require one person from the group give the answer per turn.  If the person in the group gets the answer correct, they can earn one piece to their puzzle.  The first team to earn all of their pieces and put their puzzle together wins.  Click here for printable directions for Piece it Together.


Pop is such an easy and quick game to set up!  You will need task cards (questions)  and some additional printable POP cards – just cards that say “POP”.  Put the task cards along with the POP cards in a container.  Walk around and let students take turns taking out a card.  Do not allow them to see into the container.  If they pull out a task card with a question on it,  they must give the correct answer.  If they get the answer right, they get to keep the card.  If, they get the answer wrong, the card goes back in the container.  If the student draws a POP card, he/she must put all of his/her cards back into the container.  This game won’t end on its own because the cards can keep going.  Set a time and when the time is up, the student with the most cards wins.   This game is really perfect for vocabulary words.  Keep a can with a few “POP” cards in it on hand, and drop in your vocabulary words each time you begin a unit.  Any time you have a few minutes of class time to spare, you can play Pop!   Click here for printable directions and POP cards.


The only things you will need for Skunk is a set of task cards with your questions, one set of dice,  an answer sheet and point chart.

Write each letter of the word SKUNK in a column going down on the board.  So there is a S column, a K column, a U column… you get the point.

This is how you play:

Each letter of the word SKUNK is a round.  A round does not end until a number one is rolled on the dice.  For the first roll of the dice in round one, each student in the class stands up.  The teacher rolls the dice.  Add the two numbers on the dice together.  That is the amount of points that the students may earn for that roll.  Put one of the task cars up on a visual presenter or read them a question.  Have students write down the answer to the card or question.  If they get the answer right, they earn the points.  If they get it wrong, they earn no points.   When it is time to roll again, students have to decide if they want to remain standing or sit down because if a number one is rolled at any time, those who are standing lose their points for the round and then the round ends.  Play then goes to the next round (next letter in SKUNK)

Students can decide at any time in each round to sit down and save their points to stay standing and risk them. 

*If two ones are rolled, those who are standing lose their points for the whole game.  The game ends once the last round is completed.  Students will learn strategy and review content at the same time.  Click here for directions and score cards for the game Skunk.  

Pass the chicken

For this game, you will need a rubber chicken, a stuffed animal, a potato, or any other item you wish to use.  It’s basically the hot potato game.   Have students sit in a circle.  Play some music.  Stop the music at random intervals.  Whoever is holding the chicken when the music stops has to answer a question.  If the person answers correctly, give candy or a point.     Click here for printable directions for Pass the Chicken,

The Joker

We have a really cool game called the joker that we use around Thanksgiving and Christmas time.  This game uses Google Slides, but only you need the slideshow, not the students.  Here is how it works.  There are slides with questions on them.  Those students who get the question correct get to pick a card on the next slide.  There are three cards on the slide, all different colors.  Students record the color of the card that they are choosing.  So kids will write down, blue, green, or brown.  Once kids have chosen and written down their colors, you simply click on the cards and they turn over. (We created this game with triggers so that this works automatically.)  When the cards turn over,  a playing card will be revealed, like a 10 of hearts, a 2 of diamonds, a king, or an ace.  Each card is worth the points displayed.  And a jack is worth 11, queen worth 12, king worth 13, and an ace worth 14.  The Joker, however, steals all the points so far. 

With our Thanksgiving figurative language review game, we have a turkey in place of a Joker, and if a kid chooses a color with a hidden turkey behind it, he/she loses all of the points he/she has earned so far.  There are only a few turkeys placed throughout the game, but it keeps kids on their toes and excited. They absolutely love it!

You can play this game with an actual deck of cards, using the Joker.  You will just need kids to take a card from the deck and pass it on.  Click here for a link to those directions that go along with simple, compound, complex sentence review.   If you want to use the Google Slides version, we sell these in our TpT store.  Our Christmas games use the Grinch instead of turkeys.  We have several of these games available in our Tpt store to cover different topics.  For Thanksgiving, we have this game available for figurative language, and for Christmas, we have it for figurative language, apostrophes, I or me pronouns, and capitalization.  We also have a Joker game ready for you to use with anything you need to review! 

We have many task cards  for grammar concepts!  If you’re looking for those, you can purchase them  in our TpT store!  We have several free  sets as well.