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5-Minute Fillers: Consonants and More

Volume 8

Where Have All the Consonants Gone?
Builds letter-sound and spelling skills

Write several short, grade-appropriate words on the board, but omit one or more consonants from each. Have students name consonants that might complete each word puzzle. Some examples with possible responses: _ig (dig), mai_ (mail), gu_h (gush), di_ch (ditch), _athe_ (father), _ur_e (nurse), ri_p_e (ripple), _ui_l (quill). Ask students to work in pairs or groups, and award a point for each word puzzle they solve.

"Happy" Face:
Builds creativity and self-esteem

Distribute one index card to each student. Have students complete this sentence: "Happy is _____." Tape some of the cards together to form a large circle (face) on the wall; use the others to create a "smile" line inside the circle!

Newspaper Sentences
Builds creativity and sentence writing 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 one of your classmates was to become president of the United States? Which classmate would you predict would be, or which would you want to be, president? Why?

Cut out words from the headlines in newspapers and magazines. Mix them up. Divide the class into small groups. Distribute the same number of words to each group. Give students two minutes to create as many sentences as possible from their pile of words. (Complete sentences only!) Students should record sentences as they go so they can reuse the words.

Extra challenge: Don't allow students to reuse words. Can they use every word in their pile?


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.




much soon
much soon

Answers: 1. Mind over matter; 2. checkup; 3. side by side; 4. too (two) much too soon