As a big fan of reality competition shows, I’ve had a lot of these ideas rattling around in my brain for a while now, but the mass amounts of television viewing I’ve been doing in quarantine has definitely helped the process. Here are five ways to think outside of the box to use reality competiion shows as inspiration for activities in your English class or to promote literacy in your school.
On The Amazing Race, teams race around the world, completing challenges along the way before making it to each pitstop, with the last team checking in to each pitstop being eliminated. The first team to cross the finish line on the last leg of the race are the winners.
Here is a way to use this concept to gamify test prep or content review:
On The Voice, judges sit in chairs turned away from contestants and choose singers for the competition based solely on their voice.
Here is a twist on the concept of The Voice, using poetry slams instead:
If you watch Survivor, then you know that a big part of the game is finding hidden immunity idols. These idols can be played at tribal councils to keep yourself from being voted out of the game.
Here is a twist on the hidden immunity idol concept that you can use to gamify your major assignment process or test outcomes:
On the show Song Land, songwriting hopefuls present an original song to an established recording artist. A panel of professional songwriters help the contestants to workshop their lyrics to be even better before a final performance where the recording artist chooses one song to become a part of their catalogue.
Here is a way to use this proceses during a poetry unit or just as a fun activity to promote creative writing and poetry in your classroom or school:
Another option would be to invite a local singer or band into your classroom and have your students create original songs for the singer/band to choose following the steps of the actual Song Land show.
On this dancing competition show, dancers are paired up and draw a random genre of dance to perform each week.
An ELA twist on this idea is to conduct a “So You Think You Can Write” competition where students either in pairs or individually, draw a random genre of writing each week and complete a piece of writing in that style. Each week, submissions can be displayed or posted where their peers can vote on their favourites (to avoid a popularity contest you may want to take names off of the submissions). Each week the lowest vote getters will be eliminated until there is one final writer or writing team.