Builds vocabulary skills
Develop a list of nouns. Give each student a sheet of scrap paper. Choose one noun, write it on a board or chart, and say "Go!" On that signal, students write as quickly as they can think of them ten adjectives that describe the noun. As the students finish they come to you and quietly line up. Once you have about half the class lined up, share the adjectives written by the first student in line. Are all ten words adjectives? Do they all appropriately describe the noun? (If there is some debate about whether the words appropriately describes the noun, the rest of the students can be the judges. Ask them to vote yes or no for the adjective that is being questioned.) If one of the student's adjectives is rejected because it is not an adjective or does not appropriately describe the noun, then start calling out the adjectives on the paper written by the second student in line. The first person to have ten appropriate adjectives is the winner. Once the winner has been decided, ask the other students to share some of the adjectives they wrote that have not yet been called out. Following are a few nouns that might be used to start the game: panda, skyscraper, grandmother, monster, airplane, flower, book, or piano.
Wheel of Fortunes
Builds spelling, vocabulary, and thinking skills
This is a simple classroom adaptation of the popular TV game show. Simply draw on a transparency the puzzle squares that represent the letters in a common title, a famous person's name, or some phrase students should know; be sure to identify spaces between words with spaces between puzzle squares. Divide the class into two teams. Let the first person on one team ask for a letter that might be in the puzzle. If the letter is in the puzzle, write it in the appropriate square(s). Then that person has a chance to guess the puzzle. If the person cannot guess, the next person on the team gets to guess a letter. Play proceeds in that way. When a player asks for a letter that is not in the puzzle, play jumps to the other team.
Note: For a good source of phrases, see English Idioms or Idiom Connection.
The Price Is Right
Builds consumer and sequencing skills
Bring in from home a bag of grocery items of varying types and prices. Hold up an item and allow students to guesstimate the price you paid for it. Go right around the room and ask students to make their guesses. To each guess, respond by saying if the price given was too high or too low. Students can use scrap paper to keep track of responses. The student who guesses the exact price might lead the next round of the game.
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.
Answers: number, fraction, subtraction, and multiplication are all math terms
Article by Gary Hopkins
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