Don't Pop the Balloon! (Thanksgiving Activity)
Team-survival review PowerPoint themed around Thanksgiving.
Submitted by HolliAnderson
November 1, 2022
Estimated time: 20-30 minutes
Edits: After feedback from others and getting the chance to try out the game with my students I made some changes. The starting point total was changed to 10 instead of 20, I made the question area in the slides blank, and changed some of the values around under the balloons. This is a loud and rowdy activity that worked well with my technical highschool students. It may not be appropriate to use real balloons in every situation but if you can do it! My JTEs and students enjoyed it. This game was part of a larger Thanksgiving presentation (not included due to personal pictures and videos).
Materials: 5 balloons, 5 markers to draw on balloons, and a thumb tac or sharp pencil to pop the balloons (sharp pencil works great!)
-To answer the questions students can raise their hands, write on white boards and hold them up, etc. (I had my groups raise their hands but I would reccomend using white boards if you have them. When it gets loud its hard to hear the groups give their answers).
- Make 5 teams. Each team will get a balloon and a few minutes to draw a design on it.
- Each team starts with 10 points.
- Every team has to answer the question, but the first team to answer the question will get to pick which balloon to "pop" on the slide first, then the second team to answer picks second, and so on. Behind the balloon is either a 0 or negative value. Subtract from their total points.
- When a team reaches 0 points pop their balloon! They lose! Last balloon standing wins!
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This sounds wonderfully loud. One small suggestion. Maybe before going into the activity add a few slides showing the Thanksgiving Day Parades in America and explain that tradition a little. I think this is a great themed activity but the students might need some context.
Played this with my low-level SHS visit school yesterday, and they loved it! I made it a sentence scramble game with the phrases they're learning. It took us at least 40 minutes. Also, no one was very close to death before the final round. It's best to have teams survive as long as possible so they're playing, but next time I would take a few more points away before the end so they can feel the ~spice~.
This game was a hit with my 1st and 2nd year junior high school students. I didn't use physical balloons because my JTE thought it would be too loud but it was a fantastic game!! A huge hit!! Thank you for this!