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5-Minute Fillers: Creativity and Research Skills

Volume 6

What's My Line?
Builds creativity skills

This activity works well for individual students, pairs of students, or small groups. Give each student or group an index card with the name of a common object written on it. (Examples: helicopter, alligator, toilet paper, sweater, fishing pole.) Challenge the student(s) to create a slogan for the object on the card. Students can vote for their favorite slogans.

Crack the Codes
Builds research 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 your parents threw out the TV? What would you do with all that extra time?

You might prepare this activity in advance by writing on an index card a message or common expression in Morse Code. Provide students with a copy of the Morse Code Alphabet and let them decode the message. All messages might be common expressions such as the following ones: stone cold, tough cookie, monkey business, bad egg, work your fingers to the bone, money to burn, miss the boat, down in the dumps, lay down the law, quick buck, throw your weight around, on the same wavelength, space cadet, wrong side of the tracks, easy as pie, out like a light, back stabber, hush-hush, down-to-earth, or play hooky.

Additional Resource: International Morse Code

Color the Mood
Builds critical thinking and association skills

Challenge students to act out moods they think different colors portray. Have classmates guess each mood and color depicted.

Variation: Create a simple geometric design divided into segments. Write a mood word in each segment. Hand each student (or student group) a copy of the design. Students should color each segment of the design with a color that they think portrays each mood. Watch the creative results unfold.

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. Poster is to paper as tire is to _____.
a. car
b. round
c. flat
d. rubber

2. Creek is to river as hill is to _____.
a. mountain
b. valley
c. slope
d. island

3. Pottery is to kiln as bread is to _____.
a. dough
b. oven
c. wrapper
d. slice

4. Razor is to shave as knife is to _____.
a. carve
b. sharp
c. fork
d. blade

5. Quick is to sick as fast is to _____.
a. hospital
b. past
c. doctor
d. fever