Saturday, September 24, 2016

Who'd Have Thought? Sporcle to the Rescue!

Last year, while working at a Speech and Debate Tournament, I watched some friends play a bunch of online trivia games on Sporcle. The games were all "name these" kinds of games - name NFL teams by stadium picture or name movies Mel Gibson starred in and other such diversions. I have to admit that it looked like a pointless waste of time, so I really never thought I would ever need this website. And then, this month, I did.

My son was assigned the task of memorizing a bunch of prepositions for his English class. The goal was to build prepositional fluency and students were expected to simply rattle off a list on demand. I have to admit that when my son described this to me, I didn't take him seriously. And he took his first quiz over this and bombed. We talked about how to manage this task. It's not a great task for flashcards because what do you put on the side opposite the preposition? And then I thought of Sporcle. 

It's very quick to create a Sporcle account. Once you do, it is also very simple to create a game. I spent about 20 minutes, mostly thinking of hints for the prepositions, to create the first game. My son played it four times, each time trying to beat his previous time, and had already learned 16 of the 24 that were assigned. Mission accomplished.

Want to try your hand at preposition Sporcle?

OK, you might not love the idea of preposition Sporcle, but my son has also really enjoyed playing the hard vocabulary Sporcle games we found in our game making process. Here is one with difficult A words. See if you can beat our record of 21/25. I liked these so much that I am including Sporcle in some vocabulary centers I am introducing in an inservice next week.

Sporcle games race the clock which is part of their appeal. In addition, games can be shared on Facebook and twitter and embedded as I did above. Friends can challenge each other on Facebook as well. Users can create up to 100 playlists of 50 games each. Sporcle is free, fast, and easy. People seem to love playing it. With over 1,000,000 user-generated quizzes, you are certain to find one that interests you. I'm glad I stumbled upon it while friends wasted time so that I knew about when I needed to save time for studying!

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