Let's Make a Deal for Test Prep Review

Hi friends!

So years ago, my wonderful mentor teacher Kelly Anne ( introduced me to TeachersPayTeachers. The VERY first thing I put up was a Let's Make a Deal/Mystery Envelope style review game for 5th grade test review. I soon added the same type of game for 5th grade math.

Since then, I have created math games for grades 4th-6th and ELA games for grades 4th-8th as well.

These review games are ALWAYS one of the most memorable things we do each year in my class and it still one of my best selling resources.

Over the years, the games have gone through a lot of much needed updates and even overhauls.

The game has extremely high engagement from students, but it does require some prep. I have made it much simpler than it used to be, thanks to some great feedback from buyers, but I hope that this post will make it even easier for you to set up.

First of all, if you have never seen the game show that is similar, there are tons of YouTube videos that will give you the gist of how it works. I will try to break it down, with how I make it work in the classroom.


In the game show that inspired this, there are 26 briefcases. The idea is that the contestant picks the briefcase that has the million dollars in it. At the beginning, they pick a suitcase. They then work through the show by telling the girls which suitcase they want to open. Each time you open a suitcase, that amount is eliminated. Your hope is that you eliminate the smaller amounts so that only big amounts are left, with the hope that your suitcase has one of the bigger amounts.

It used to be such a pain to make the prizes, but I have since added editable PowerPoints where you just type in the prizes.

I have also added some prizes that all teachers can use, but again, they are all editable. 

Here is an example from a classroom. I used to just put the amounts in envelopes (but that took forever, I hardly ever can remember to get the envelopes now, and I now have four class periods). Since then I have added the brief cases (seen below) to the resource and they are completely editable so you can add your own prizes. I just type it once and will print four times when I go to play it with all four of my class periods.

If the contestant starts to feel like their suitcase might have a small amount, they can switch it out for another briefcase, and then open their original suitcase and eliminate that amount.

I took this idea and made it into a fun review game.


I adapted this idea for the classroom. Students take the same concept, but students have to work in groups and have to answer review questions in order to be able to eliminate briefcases.

I have put students in groups of 3-5.

I am going to kind of do a scripted version of how this would go, to hopefully make it clear as mud. HA!


This game is not a no prep game. I have made it way less prep heavy for you all, but there is still one thing you will always have to do. This game is about picking the envelope with the biggest amount, but there is also some strategy and math to it.

This is what my board looks like when I list the prizes.

I have seen other teachers do prizes like Dojo dollars, Scholastic books, etc. Here is an example from Miss 5th's classroom.

Here is another example from @adventuresin5th (will explain the briefcases in a second). She made her prizes work with what she could in her classroom! 

Some teachers just do dollar amounts that mean absolutely nothing, but the competition factor gets kids excited. This is what this teacher did. Most people who choose this method have said that the kids get really into it without any tangible prizes. 


As envelopes get eliminated, the amounts and/or prizes get erased because those amounts are off the table at that point.

Any time students get a questions correct, they have two options:

1. They can pick an envelope to open and eliminate that amount for the board.


2. Based on the numbers/prizes they still see available in the envelopes, they may choose to switch out their envelope/briefcase for one still for grabs. We then open their original briefcase/envelope and eliminate that amount from the board (hoping that they didn't just give up $400).

They can switch their envelope/briefcase as many times as they want (as long as they answer correctly) or they can keep their envelope/briefcase the entire time.

We play until each group is left with only one envelope/briefcase. We open at the end, and their team (each member) gets the amount in the envelope.

All the prizes or amounts have to be listed somewhere. I have classroom money, so I just do it by dollar amount.


Who's ready to make a deal?!

We are going to play a review game, where you have a chance to win hundreds of dollars.

You are in groups of 3-4 at your tables already and those will be your teams.

The goal of this game is to answer questions correctly to eliminate envelopes.

We will eliminate envelopes, except for five of them. Five envelopes won't be eliminated because each group will end with one envelope (we have five groups).

At the beginning of the game, your group will decide which envelope/briefcase you would like. You are hoping that this envelope has the highest amount of money.

Now, pay attention, because you may not want to keep that envelope the whole time.

Each group will take turns answering questions.

If it's not your turn, you still want to discuss an answer, because if the first team get's it wrong, I will come to you next, but you will only have 15 seconds to discuss if it defaults to you.

For example, if it's group one's turn, you will have ____ amount of time to answer (I usually give them 30 second to 60 seconds, depending on the question).

If you get the questions correct, you have two choices:

1. You can pick an envelope to open and eliminate that amount for the board. Once I open the envelope/briefcase, that amount is erased and none of the groups can win that amount of money.


2. Based on the numbers/prizes that you still see available in the envelopes/briefcases (as written on the board), you may choose to switch out your envelope/briefcase for one still for grabs. We then open their original briefcase/envelope and eliminate that amount from the board (hoping you they didn't just give up $400).

At the end of the game, you are hoping that your team has the envelope/briefcase with the most money.

Teams you have 30 seconds to decide which number of briefcase/envelope you would like to start with:

TEAM 1: Number 24

TEAM 2: Number 13

TEAM 3: Number 1

TEAM 4: Number 2

TEAM 5: Number 9

TEACHER: Okay, team one ready? Remember to have your answer ready, in case they get it incorrect. Question one is: What is the different between tone and mood in literature.

TEAM 1: Tone is writer centered and mood is reader centered.

TEACHER: That is correct. What would you like to do?

TEAM 1: We would like to open briefcase 4.

TEACHER: (opens briefcase) Briefcase four had $300 in it (erase $300 from board).

STUDENTS: ohhhh man!

This same procedure continues until there are only 5 amounts left on the board.

I just display the PDF Let's Make a Deal Game questions with my overhead projector. This is an older version, but this is when we were getting ready to play!

I started by making the games for my fifth graders and have just progressed since there! These are the games I currently have made. I make the games based on the Common Core Standards for each grade level. I also really look at the standardized tests practice and released items so that the questions are kind of tough. 

Just click on the one you think you might want to check out! 

Please feel free to ask me any and all questions you may have about this! This blog post has been about 4 years in the making, but I hope I answered all the common questions! 




  1. Great post! The picture of the room with the "no prizes" option is mine. :) My students absolutely love these games, even with no prizes. One other tweak I do: I have 6 tables, so I write the numbers 1-6 on sticks. I show the question, then have every group work together to come up with an answer, THEN I pull the stick to see whose turn it is. If the first table gets it wrong, I pull another stick. When the answer is correct, all the sticks go back in the cup. I found that doing it this way ensured everyone was engaged through the whole game.

  2. Wow its a good post thanks for sharing this post. My students Love this game

  3. Congratulation to you. I am happy after reading your post that you have posted in this blog. Thanks for this wonderful post and hoping to post more of this. I am looking for your next update.

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  8. I was confused at first because of the name of the game because I'm a game show fanatic. But once I realized that this was a version of Deal or No Deal, I completely got it. I absolutely love that show and I can't wait to use this review game with my students! Thanks!