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5-Minute Fillers: Video Tape Book Report and More

Volume 21

Videotape Book Report:
Builds presentation and analysis skills

Set up a video camera in the back of the room and have each child videotape him or herself presenting a 30-second "commercial" for a book they read. The students should tell what is good about the book within 30 seconds and then they have 2 more minutes to read a favorite passage from the book -- a passage that might motivate others to want to read the book!

Newspaper Scavenger Hunt
Builds research and using an index skills

Pose the following question to students to start a lively discussion, or use is as a prompt for a quick journal-writing activity:

What if you had to choose the quality that is most important to you in a friend? Would you choose a friend for his or her looks, intelligence, or sense of humor? Why did you choose that quality as the most important one?

This activity could be done as a class or as a learning center activity. Cut from the daily newspaper the Table of Contents section. Copy it onto a transparency, enlarge it, copy it onto chart paper so the whole class can see it, or provide individual copies of it. Ask questions that require the students to tell you the page on which they would find a major local news stories, the Peanuts comic strip, what jobs are available in your community, yesterday's stock market results, tomorrow's weather, and so on.

Correct the Teacher
Builds listening skills

Instruct students to follow along as you read. Let them know that you will make mistakes as you read on purpose. You might throw in errors of grammar and pronunciation. You might insert errors that are out of context. As the students pick up on an error, they should quickly raise their hands. See who will be first to spot each error.

Anagram Puzzles

Anagrams are a terrific tool for stimulating students to think critically. Write the four phrases below on a board or chart. The letters in each phrase can be rearranged to spell a word. The words all have something in common. Challenge students to figure out the four words and what the words have in common.

Adapt the activity for younger students: To make the activity easier, tell students what the words have in common or arrange students in pairs to solve the anagram puzzles.
  • SAD MA

Answers: Adams, Washington, Jefferson, and Roosevelt were all U.S. presidents


Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
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