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5-Minute Fillers: Classification, Geography, and More

Volume 2

Snackin' With 20 Questions
Builds classification, questioning skills

Hold up a paper bag that contains a favorite snack food, such as pretzels, carrot sticks, or popcorn. Organize students into teams. Each team gets to ask a yes or no question about the snack food. If the answer is no, play moves to the next team. If the answer is yes, that team guesses the snack. If the team is incorrect, play moves to the next team. If the team is correct, the teammates divide the snack among themselves.

Getting to Know U.S.
Builds geography 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 were able to buy one more thing to fit in your room at home? What would that thing be? Why would you choose to buy it?

To help students get to know their U.S. geography, divide students into two groups. Have each group form a line in front of a U.S. map. The first two students in line should get ready because you will call out the name of state. The first of the two students to touch that state on the map goes to the end of his/her line. The other student is eliminated. Play continues until the last student in one of the lines has been eliminated.

Variation: If students are learning the state capitals, you might call out the name of the capital instead of the state name. Students must identify the correct state.

Math Jeopardy
Builds and reinforces math facts knowledge

Use a Jeopardy-game format to review math. Provide students with the answers to math facts in the form of a statement. For example, "The answer is 30" or "When you multiply these two numbers, you get 30" or "These numbers are factors of 30." Students must give factors in the form of a question. For example, "What is 5 times 6?" or "What is 10 times 3?" Variation: Organize students into teams to complete the activity.

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. Author is to story as poet is to _____.
a. play
b. script
c. poem
d. Mother Goose

2. Bee is to hive as boy is to _____.
a. house
b. sting
c. hornet
d. office

3. Buy is to sell as stand is to _____.
a. run
b. salesman
c. sit
d. lean

4. Mitten is to hand as sock is to _____.
a. glove
b. shoe
c. foot
d. fingers

5. Spring is to season as August is to _____.
a. summer
b. September
c. vacation
d. month