The origins of this review game is very interesting to say the least. I was wrapping up a unit about the pre-U.S. Civil War and unfortunately my lesson ended about ten minutes too soon. I needed to act quickly to regain their attention. Just like Robert Rodriguez had done with his early movies, I categorized what I had in the classroom that I could use to create some type of review activity. As I was glancing the classroom, I remember that we had a distinct colorful stool that my cooperating teacher had in front of the room. I decided to utilize the stool and my thoughts came flooding in. I introduced a fun review game by asking for a volunteer who felt he/she knew the unit’s content. From that moment, Hot Seat was born.
How Hot Seat works is pretty simple, but hard to master. A single student sits on the stool in front of the classroom and the rest of the class goes through their materials based on the unit, asking the student any question that may stump him/her. If the student gets the question right, he/she gets a point and stays in the seat. The goal is to get as many points as possible to make the all-time high score chart. If he/she gets the question wrong, the students has to go back to their seat and a new volunteer will have an opportunity.
What makes this game so fantastic is that it’s completely student-led. All the teacher has to do is keep score and confirm if the answer is right or wrong. On some occasions, you might have to forfeit a question the class asked due to being “too easy” for the student on the seat. Students have a competitive drive, so they will try their best to look through their notes and textbook to come up with a good question. When they are doing this, they are accidentally studying themselves for the assessment. The energy in the classroom during Hot Seat very fast-paced and exciting. Ever since I did it the first time, it became the most requested activity when it came review time. I started to implement it once in awhile even for daily lessons to check for understanding.
Another beauty of this review game is that it’s flexible in it’s nature. If you want to do it for 5 or 45 minutes, you can! There’s also no equipment necessary for Hot Seat besides a chair, but you don’t even need that if you don’t want to (they could stand in front of the class). It’s interesting what happens when you’re forced to be creative under pressure. Thankfully, I was able to think on the top of my feet and develop Hot Seat. If you have any questions or concerns about this game, let me know in the comment section below!