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5-Minute Fillers: Sequencing, Puzzles, and More

Volume 24

A-B-C, 1-2-3
Builds sequencing skills

Provide a variety of boxed items from the supermarket. Challenge students put the boxes in sequence. They might sequence numerically according to weight, length, or price; or they might sequence by alphabetical order.

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 all the students in your class were participants on a new version of TV's Fear Factor? Who would outlast all the others to win the competition? Why do you think that person would be the winner?

Around the World Builds math facts and computation skills

Have students sit in a circle on the floor. Ask one student to stand behind a child in the in the circle. State a math problem aloud or display a flash card with a math problem on it, and ask both students to figure out the answer. The first student who calls out the correct answer moves to stand behind the next child in the circle. The object of the game is to see how far one student can "travel" without making any mistakes.

Note: Before beginning, be sure to state the following rules.
* Only two students are eligible to call out an answer each time. Anyone who calls out an answer when it is not his or her turn is out of the game.
* Students have a predetermined amount of time to solve the problem. If one student calls out an incorrect answer during that time, the other student gets an additional 5 seconds to answer correctly. If neither student answers correctly in the allotted time, both sit down and two new students are chosen.

Pronunciation Challenge
Builds dictionary and spelling skills

Write the pronunciations of five words on the board or a chart. You might choose current or past spelling words, or words that connect to a current unit of study. Have students write the words on a piece of scrap paper. Spelling counts! Following are a five sample pronunciations:

  • SEL - uh - braight (celebrate)
  • FIK - shun (fiction)
  • ee - KWAY - tor (equator)
  • FAN - tuh - see (fantasy)
  • MIN - ur - uhl (mineral)

Analogy Puzzles

Analogies are a terrific tool for stimulating students to think critically. Write the following analogies on a board or chart. Challenge students to select the appropriate conclusion to each analogy. Have students share their responses and the reasoning behind them. Correct responses are shown in bold italic type.

1. Dog is to dogs as woman is to _____.
a. girls
b. puppies
c. women
d. adults

2. Soup is to can as toothpaste is to _____.
a. teeth
b. drugstore
c. smile
d. tube

3. Doctor is to hospital as professor is to _____.
a. college
b. book
c. diploma
d. Gilligan

4. Shakespeare is to Hamlet as Dr. Seuss is to _____.
a. cats
b. children
c. the Grinch
d. books

5. Friend is to pal as hallway is to _____.
a. classroom
b. corridor
c. alley
d. home

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
Copyright © 2004 Education World