Directions for Comet Flash Cards

Comet Flash Cards can be used in several ways to help students learn new terms associated with the Comet's Tale lesson. 
  • As vocabulary building Flash Cards: for independent or student pair drills.
  • As a "Jeopardy" Game (see directions below). 
  • As homework: students can take several cards home each night to memorize.

Making the Cards:

First, the Comet Jeopardy Cards should be printed (depending on class size, more than one set of cards may be desired), and cut into strips along the horizontal lines. Then, each strip can be folded in half, along the vertical line, and glued together to make cards with the questions on one side and the answers on the other. If more rigid cards are desired, thin card stock or heavy construction paper can be "sandwiched" between the folded paper strips prior to gluing. It can also be fun to have the students write the answers and questions themselves as homework, make their own cards and then play the game in class. 

Playing Jeopardy:

There are several ways this game can be played. Depending on class size, the class can be divided into two or more teams and the teams can play against each other in a "round robin" competition. If the game is to be played more than once, teams can compete in pairs. 

The set of shuffled answer cards can be divided evenly between each pair of teams, and the teams can then take turns reading cards to the other team. Another option is for the teacher to keep all the cards and read each question, or assign one student to be the game moderator. Decide which team will go first, possibly by a coin toss, or by allowing the team with the first correct response to a pre-game comet question.

For either option, the first card drawn is read to the team that goes first. The cards are designed so that the "answer" is read first, and the responding team must provide the correct question as their answer (like the TV Jeopardy game show). For example:

If Team "A" begins by reading: "At this point of its orbit, any solar satellite such as a comet or a planet is farthest away from the sun." 

Then, a member of Team "B" would need to reply with the question, "What is the aphelion?" Students in each team should be encouraged to discuss their answers and come to an agreement before a team spokesperson gives the final response.

If a team is able to provide the correct response, then they receive 100 points and get first chance to answer the next question, (easier questions can be worth 100 points, while more challenging questions can be assigned 200 or 300 point values). If they are not able to provide the correct response, then the other team gets a chance to respond. If they succeed, then they get 100 or more points. If neither team is able to provide the correct response, the moderator reads the question again, gives the correct response, and then moves on, selecting the team that should go first for the next round.