Prisoner of Echo Teacher Guide - Pre-Assessment


Time Required

1 class period


Students will play a vocabulary game and create a group concept map to assess prior knowledge about sound.



Pencil8 x 11 sheet of paper


Buzzer or bellStopwatch or timerNumbered index cards or small pieces of paper, one for each studentLarge sheet of paper


Computer and Internet access


Write numbers on cards or small pieces of paper. For example, if you have 18 students, you will need two sets of cards numbered 1 through 9. Set up an area with a buzzer or bell where two students at a time can play the game.

Part 1: Vocabulary Game: Name That Word

  • Divide students into two teams. Explain that they will be playing a game to assess their prior knowledge of vocabulary related to sound. A member of each team will come forward when his or her number is called. The teacher will read a vocabulary definition aloud, and the first person to hit the buzzer and correctly identify the vocabulary word that matches the definition wins a point for the team. Use the glossary in the Appendix for the vocabulary definitions.
  • Walk the class through the steps in the Student Guide for playing the game. Then, distribute the numbers to team members and begin by calling up students who have number 1. Ask a third student to keep track of time, starting the timer after you read the definition and calling out when 10 seconds have elapsed.
  • If neither team guesses correctly after 10 seconds, you can draw a picture of the word on the board. Or, you can use the "Sounds likeā€¦" strategy by drawing an ear and illustrating or acting out a word that sounds like the vocabulary word.
  • Continue with this process until all of the vocabulary definitions have been read. If you have an uneven number of students, ask students to take an extra turn as needed.
You may want to keep a record of the terms that students could not identify and reinforce them throughout the unit. Reassure students that if they do not know what a vocabulary word means, they will not be penalized. The goal is to assess prior knowledge in a fun and engaging way.

Part 2: Group Concept Map

  • Have students read the steps in the Student Guide. Then, explain that they are going to create a group concept map about sound. Explain that a concept map is a diagram that illustrates the relationship between concepts. Typically, a central topic is placed in the center of the diagram and related terms and key ideas are connected to the central topic, either directly or indirectly, using lines with labels that describe the relationship.

    Instruct students to spend a few minutes brainstorming on the topic and making a list of key ideas and vocabulary terms related to sound. Each student should write his or her ideas on an 8 x 11 sheet of paper.

  • Display a large sheet of paper for all students to see and write the term Sound in the center. Review the instructions in the Student Guide for creating a concept map, and address questions as needed. Depending on their skill level, you may want to provide students with a list of key terms and concepts to help them get started. Definitions of the terms appear in the glossary, but be sure students do not look up these words at this point.

Remind students that this activity is to assess their prior knowledge about sound. Let students know that the concept map will be revisited and revised at the end of the next lesson.


Divide students into pairs and have them play Prisoner of Echo for the rest of the class period. As students begin, encourage them to take their time to learn the basics of game play and to understand the background story. Let students know that at the beginning of the next class period, they will discuss their experiences playing the game.