Quizlet for A-Level Teachers: 12 Low-Prep Activities to make from a Quizlet Set

This is the third and final (I think) in a mini-series on Quizlet. If you're interested in how you can get hold of a Quizlet set which meets your needs, click here, and if you want to know more about how to make flashcards in a few clicks, try this post.

In this post, I want to talk about how you can take a Quizlet set and convert it into a whole bunch of knowledge-recall activities. I want to point out though, that if you want to practise knowledge recall, there's nothing wrong with writing 5 questions on the board. But, if you're going to use flashy activities, at least make sure they're low prep ones so you can spend your PPA time on something with more educational value. That's where Quizlet comes in.

I keep a file by my desk with a keyword set and a knowledge set printed out for each chapter, which I pull out as and when needed.

#1: Quizlet Live

If you haven't used Quizlet live before, you're in for a treat: it's easy to set up and students love it. Students do need a device each (ish) but they don't need any apps or log-ins. Just click 'Live' when you're on the set you want.

#2: Match

Another of Quizlet's own games, this isn't nearly as good as Live, but might make a good revision break if students are revising by themselves or if you have an interactive whiteboard. This is also available directly from the Quizlet website. Note: don't bother with 'Gravity' for Economics - if you want the spaceship element you'd be better with the next option.

#3: Arcade Games

I'm not a massive fan of these, but they might be useful in pumping up the energy in a revision session. Classtool.net allows you to paste in a list of questions and converts it into a range of arcade games - Wordshoot is probably the best of these. You'll need to switch terms and definitions and export from Quizlet, ensuring it is formatted with a '/' between the term and definition (use the 'Custom' option). I explain how to do all of that towards the end of the video on this post. There are also some other tools there which you might find a use for, including a wheel of fortune for your keywords.

#4: Powerpoint Games

I prefer these to the two above because it's easier to get the whole class involved. In truth you don't even have to have a Quizlet set but it saves thinking of questions. This powerpoint has two games: Battleships and Mystery Squares. Print off or pull up a list of questions (I prefer the knowledge sets rather than the vocab sets for these) and split the class into two or more groups. They take turns to pick a square (eg C3) and you can just pick a random question from your list to ask them. If they get it right, click the square and see what's underneath, which will be some points or maybe a battleship. I got the original templates from Tekhnologic, and you can write questions directly onto them if you want, but I find the method above requires much less prep.

#5 Articulate

Again, you can totally do this without Quizlet but if you've got a Quizlet set to hand you might as well put it to use. Just put it on Study Flashcard mode and project it behind the student, and her peers can try and describe the term without saying it.

#6 Pictionary

By no means essential to have a Quizlet set to help you with this, but it might help you to think of some less-obvious terms. I turn my projector off, put the Study Flashcard mode page my screen and show this to the artists from each team.

#7 Pairs

This is super easy: just go onto Print, then Large (as you would if you were printing Flashcards) and click Single-Sided mode. Then you (or the students) can just cut up all the cards (without folding). Students can then match words and definitions, or they can use the cards to play Concentration. On another note, if you have issues storing these sorts of cards, Plastic CD Wallets are cheap, see-through and not too bulky.

#7 Quick Worksheet

Quizlet will automatically make a 20 question worksheet with 5 marks for written questions, 5 matching questions, 5 true or false and 5 multiple choice questions, but you can edit it for whatever you like. I like giving them 10 definition-writing questions as a quick check, or 25 matching questions as more of an activity. If you're struggling with how to print these, I demonstrate it on the video on this post.

#8 Crossword

Crosswords sometimes get a bad press but I don't think they're that bad. I opt to print them onto A3 and have students work in pairs to complete it. It took me just over 2 minutes to explain how to make one so I reckon you could do it in under a minute.

#9 Bingo

I will usually do this just by asking students to draw a 3x3 grid on a scrap piece of paper and think of 9 keywords to fill it with. I then just grab my Quizlet list (or pull it up on my computer), read out definitions and make a note of the number of the word I've called.

However, if you really want proper cards, I recommend exporting the word list to excel (see the end of the video on this page), copying the 'term' column and pasting into this bingo card generator. I recommend selecting the ink-saver theme. You can then download a PDF with 30 bingo cards for free. (Also useful for Eurovision parties.)

#10 Snakes and Ladders

In the past, I've printed out a few of these simple snakes and ladders boards onto A3 and laminated them. I've then used this in conjunction with the flashcards I made when demonstrating to students how to use them. Students take a card, if they answer correctly, they can roll and then just play as normal snakes and ladders. Would I do this today? Probably not, as the ratio of time spent on actual revision vs having fun isn't a great payoff, but depending on your circumstances it might be worth it. For example, if you've only got half a class because of a trip or something, you might want to go ahead and try it.

#11 Quiz and trade

What it says on the tin: students ask each other a question, then swap cards, then find someone else to ask. I would usually use this in a revision workshop to stop them from falling asleep if they've been in the same seat for 2 hours already. This only needs one pack of flashcards.

#12 Competitive quizzing

Give each pair about 10 cards. They can take turns to read out the question, if the other student knows the answer they can keep the card for their 'done' pile. If they don't (and this bit is important) the reader needs to read out the answer and it goes back in the pack. This means students have an incentive to learn from their own and each other's mistakes since they have the opportunity to win the card later. The winner for each round is the one with the most cards in their 'done' pile. At the end of each round, rotate the cards so each pair gets 10 new cards to play with.

Do let me know your favourite low-prep activities!