Emergency Tic-Tac-Toe Lesson Plan

You have just accepted a call to sub in the local school district.  You show up to sign in at the office and hear the dreaded phrase “No lesson plans have been left in the classroom teachers mailbox.”  You are on your own! Don’t panic, here is an easy and fun emergency lesson plan that will keep the class working and can be tailored for any subject and any topic the class is currently covering.

  1. Draw a large Tic-Tac-Toe game board on the chalk board or on the projector.  Number each box 1 through 9 and have the students number a piece of paper 1 through 9.  Split the classroom down the middle into two groups (be sure to stick with the assigned seating cart).
  2. Ask what chapters they have been covering and, using the class textbook, find some questions on the current topics.  Try and make most of them open ended questions to really make them think.  Textbooks almost always have good questions at the end of each chapter.  An example from a middle school US History class would be: Describe the differences between the northern and southern colonies.  An example from a Pre-Algebra class would be: Two consecutive integers have a sum of 89. What are the numbers?
  3. Select who goes first with either a coin flip or any similar chance based method.  Have the first group select the number of the box they wish to mark with their X or O.  Read them a question from the book and have the whole class write that question on their papers next to the corresponding number.  Use your judgment to determine the maximum amount of time they have to answer – depending on age group 2-4 minutes should be good.  If they give a satisfactory answer place an X or O (depending on which team) in the corresponding box.  If not the other team may choice to answer the question for that box or select a new box.  The first team to get Tic-Tac-Toe wins.

Be sure the students understand that you will be collecting each individuals paper and will expect them to have each question asked written down with the corresponding CORRECT answer. Depending on scheduling you should have time for 2 or 3 games each period.  You may grade as you wish with a pass/fail participation grade or a letter grade and leave for the classroom teacher.

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