Unveiling the magic: Introducing new topics with Kahoot!

Posted on October 13, 2015

Introducing a powerful way to Kahoot! as part of an integrated lesson plan... Kahoot!'er and teacher Stephanie Castle takes us through her approach to "Blind Kahoot!'ing".

We all know that Kahoot! is great for review and formative assessment - but did you know that you can use it to introduce brand new topics too?

One of our favorite Kahoot!’ers, Steph Castle - an IB Biology teacher at the United Nations International School in New York, calls this approach to fresh material “The Blind Kahoot”. We caught up with her to talk about how and why she got into Blind Kahoot!’ing, and how it’s transformed her classroom.

Kahoot! is just for Formative Assessment…. Or is it??

Like millions of other teachers around the world, Steph was used to using Kahoot! for the more obvious ways to play, like formative assessment and review. Her students loved it, and she’d already seen remarkable engagement in the classroom as a result. But she, like any great teacher, was all too aware that Kahoot! isn’t a quick replacement for smart lesson planning. As a sharp academic she really saw the importance of how you plan, create and host your kahoots needing to fit with the students’ learning objectives, and not just be about engagement and testing knowledge.

“If you’re always doing kahoots on stuff they’re supposed to already know, it can become a competition between the strongest kids, with the weakest becoming disheartened.”

Stephanie Castle

The A-HA! Moment

Looking at Kahoot! in that light, she wondered what would happen if she instead created a kahoot about something her students had never seen before. Playing the kahoot “blind” – in other words, with zero exposure to the topic beforehand - could level the playing field and spark the curiosity of her students.

And as far as teaching while the kids are in “questioning” mode… well, besides being way more fun, you just know that new knowledge is going to stick.

A total “a-ha” moment, Steph thought Kahoot! might offer a unique opportunity. So off she went to host her first Blind Kahoot – a quiz about oxidation states for students who had never so much as seen that material before.

The result?

Well, you should have seen Steph’s face light up as she talked about Blind Kahoot!’ing with her class!

With a clever 20-question kahoot, her students learned a new subject inside and out, from scratch. They worked together, debated, discussed, and felt empowered. And was that some real fun along the way, too? Check!

And what’s more, her simple little experiment took Kahoot! from being a fun formative assessment tool to a teaching tool integral to her curriculum. One which benefitted every single one of her students – regardless of ability or prior knowledge.

For a closer look at how she did it read The Art of Blind Kahoot!'ing.

More ways to play!

We love how every single one of the Kahoot!'ers we meet has their own unique way of creating and playing learning games. We've done a quick round-up of just some of our favorite ways to play Kahoot! including Learners to Leaders, Global Classroom and those awesome brain breaks - check 'em out!

Shapes