Amazing Race: AP Prep Style
“The world is waiting for you. Good luck… travel safe… go!”
-Phil Keoghan, Host of Amazing Race
Ben Baptist planned an Amazing Race review activity for his AP students before the Language and Composition AP test where students worked in teams traveling around the school and finding AP questions and answering them together.
Before the race, teams were assigned in groups of four or five and each team came up with a name for themselves. Baptist also found teachers who were willing to put envelopes with AP questions in their classrooms. In each envelope, he put the team name on the outside and the question on the inside.
Directions for the race were as follows:
1. Find the first envelope for the group in the classroom, read the question, and come up with an answer together
2. Give an answer to the teacher to be given the next envelope’s location
3. After each location, come back to the classroom and give an answer to the teacher
4. The best total time after five station is the winner
On the day of the race, Baptist had a chart on the board with each group’s name and times:
If students got a question right, he wrote down the time in the box for each station. For each question wrong, he put an “X” which meant they lost twenty seconds on their final time.
Some of the rules were as follows:
- One group leader would be assigned to give an answer for the group. This is the only person from whom Baptist would accept an answer
- Groups were not to run in the hallways or disrupt classes
- Groups were not to “hide” clues or they would receive a zero
The students were very engaged in the competitive nature of the activity. They seemed to really enjoy the review exercise. In the future, Baptist and I agreed that there should be more questions for students to answer because some groups were able to complete the entire race in less than 9 minutes! We also discussed the possibility of “activities” at stations in addition to the multiple choice questions.
This ELT teacher used an “Amazing Race” in her classroom where students had a circular route with five “stations,” each hosted by a “clue master” who would assign the task, monitor students, and then sign the “Task Completion Sheet” when they were finished. She suggested tasks such as, “…storyboard writing, memorizing tongue twisters, making a short movie, presenting a speaking topic, or solving a puzzle.”