Contact Iain Dover for further information about this technique.
Pick up sticks (or straws) can be used to mix up revision in a lesson where students would otherwise just be testing each other on different areas of a topic or subject.
1 pack of multi-coloured straws (the sticks).
4/5 piles of question/definition cards (the number needs to match the number of different colours of straw you have).
How to play
Set up – each set of cards is given a colour of stick that it relates to. You can either print in the relevant colour of card/paper, or for flexibility have a piece of card that is slightly larger than the cards, to indicate each pile.
The sticks need to be piled up, overlapping each other. There does not need to be any order to this.
Students take turns to pick up a stick. If they can pick it up without moving any other sticks then the turn passes to the next person. If they disturb other sticks, they have to answer to answer a question from the pile linked to the stick they picked up.
How to decide who is the winner – well everyone is a winner as they all get to revise! (Alternatively, the winner is the person who manages to get the highest number of sticks/straws without disturbing others).