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5-Minute Fillers: Comprehension, Spelling, and More

Volume 40

Sound It Out!
Builds listening and spelling skills

Write the following headline expressions on a board or chart.

  1. Tub Braid Heap Hunch (Clue: TV show)
  2. Sand Tackle Laws (Clue: fictional character)
  3. Tall Mischief Her Sun (Clue: person)
  4. Buck Spun He (Clue: cartoon character)
  5. Shock Cussed Toe (Clue: person)
  6. These Hound Dove Moo Sick (Clue: movie)
  7. Docked Hearse Whose (Clue: person)
  8. Tight An Hick (Clue: thing)
  9. Aisle Oh View (Clue: phrase)
  10. Chick He Tub Ban An Us (Clue: things)
  11. My Gulch Hoard Un (Clue: person)
  12. Thumb Ill Key Wake Owl Licks He (Clue: place)

One at a time, have students sound out and say slowly and carefully the words in each headline until it begins to sound like something that relates to the clue.

For example, Tub Braid Heap Hunch, carefully sounded out with the "TV show" clue in mind will begin to sound like The Brady Bunch.

The other headlines, in the order they are listed above sound like Santa Claus; Thomas Jefferson; Bugs Bunny; Jacques Cousteau; The Sound of Music; Dr. Seuss; Titanic; I love you; Chiquita bananas; Michael Jordan; and the Milky Way Galaxy.

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 were asked to describe yourself to somebody who just met you? What three words would you use to describe yourself? Why did you choose those words?

Fact, Fiction, or Opinion?
Builds comprehension skills

Write the following statements on a board or chart, or say them aloud. Have students identify each statement as fact, fiction, or opinion.

  • Being president is the hardest job in the world. (opinion)
  • Mercury is the planet closest to the sun. (fact)
  • The hippopotamus is the largest land mammal. (fiction, the African elephant is)
  • Apple pie is the best tasting pie. (opinion)
  • The Empire State Building is the tallest building in Texas. (fiction, it is in New York City)

Then give each student a sheet of scrap paper. Have them write and label three statements -- one that is factual, one that is fiction, and one that is opinion. Collect the students' work and use their statements as a class quiz.

Great Graphs
Builds graph reading skills

Collect from newspapers and magazines a variety of graphs. (The major news magazines are good sources; the USA Today newspaper is another excellent source.) You might laminate the graphs so you can use them over and over. Hand each student a graph and a sticky note. Have them write on the sticky note one fact they did not know that they learned from the graph. Have students share what they learned with their classmates.

Picture puzzles such as the ones below are a terrific tool for stimulating students to think critically. Write or draw the following puzzles on a board or chart. Challenge students to study the puzzles to see if the words -- and the way they are written -- give them clues to the common expressions the puzzles illustrate.



BAD WOLF [Note: Write the word in large print.]


Answers: 1. Tennis shoes (ten issues); 2. up tight; 3. big bad wolf; 4. reading between the lines


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






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