Spanish Version

The Challenge

Social Studies Activity

This activity is a quiz show that can be used to review material in any content area and to encourage students to take on an extra challenge.


  • Lists of questions for one or more subject areas
  • Drawing and decorative materials as needed to create a quiz show atmosphere, such as contestant tables, scoreboards, stopwatch, and category lists


  1. Ask students to name several television game shows they are familiar with. If possible, video tape in advance a few different kinds of games shows for those students unfamiliar with game shows. Divide the class into groups and have each group spend a set time (approximately 20 minutes) analyzing the system that governs a particular show. Have them consider such questions as these:
    • How many contestants are there? Do they act singly or as a team?
    • Do contestants take turns, or must they be fast on a signaling device in order to be called upon?
    • How are the questions organized (for example, by category)?
    • How are correct answers scored (for example, the harder the question the higher the score)? Are there certain questions that have bonus points?
    • What happens when a contestant misses (for example, the value of the question is deducted from the score)?

  2. Tell students they are going to create a quiz show called "Meet the Challenge," which will have its own set of rules. They can draw on the ideas they got from analyzing television quiz shows or create an entirely different form. The only requirements that you will impose are as follows:
    • You will draw up the questions, based on a subject area they are currently studying.
    • The quiz show must also include a set of questions based on a Challenge activity. Prior to the actual show, you will indicate where the Challenge questions will come from. This can be an extra reading, a documentary video, a laboratory experiment, and so forth.
    • The show will have a point system, and you will announce how many points are required to win the prizes or rewards you decide on.

  3. Work with the class (or, if you prefer, a smaller "production staff") to draw up the final rules and organize the quiz show. Everyone in the class should participate in the show in some way, whether as part of the production staff or as contestants. Depending on your class, you may wish to make the assignments or have students organize themselves.

  4. Set up a time schedule that includes at least two rehearsals. Invite another class to act as the audience for the performance. If possible, video tape the show for all to enjoy at a later date.


  • You might prefer to have a series of quiz shows that build up to a final Challenge quiz. The winners from each show become eligible for the Challenge quiz.
  • Repeat the quiz show as many times as you want, using the same or other subject areas.

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