Geography    |    Native Americans    |    Explorers    |    Pioneers    |    Economy & Culture    |    Statehood & Government    |    20th Century    

Bows And Arrows

This is a great review game for any unit, but especially for the Native American unit. My students request this game all the time, because they get to use bows and arrows in the classroom!


  • 2 sets of bows and suction cup arrows (you can buy these at any general or grocery store in the toy aisle for $2.00 each set)
  • A taped line a few feet in front of the white board
  • A whole bunch of unit vocabulary words/answers to questions

When reviewing for the unit test, fill the board with different keywords and vocabulary learned in that unit. It works best to write the words in random order, straight and diagonal, big and small, different colors…make a mess of the words! These words are answers that correspond to a question that you, the teacher, will ask.

Split the class into two teams. Each team sends up a representative to the front of the class to answer the question (every student must have a turn before there are repeats). They must stand behind a line of tape on the floor several feet away from the board. Read a question to both contestants. The players will then try to find the answer on the board and “shoot” it. The person who hits the word first (doesn’t have to be a perfect shot) gets the point. If they shoot but get the wrong word, or miss it, they are allowed to retrieve their arrow, run back behind the line, and keep trying until someone’s made a close enough shot.

The rest of the class can help the shooter by shouting out the answer, but can’t reveal where the answer is on the board. The whole class goes crazy with this game, but it’s important to lay down the rules before starting (no pointing the arrow at anyone, no name-calling, pushing, shoving, etc…). I also give the class a mini-lesson on how to hold and shoot the bow and arrow for those who haven’t played with one before.

Try This Twist! Once everyone’s had a turn, I allow each team to send up their “best archer” and base it on accuracy instead of speed. One team shoots first (they can take their time), and if the second player gets any closer to the word, they get the point. I’ve had to pull out a ruler on many occasions to find out who the winner was inch-by-inch… Then they choose the next best archer of their team, and so on.

Leave a Reply