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5-Minute Fillers: Letters and Vocabulary

Volume 9

Line Up by the Letter
Builds listening and sequencing skills

Try this activity when changing classes or when students are preparing to leave at the end of the day. Call out directions for lining up, such as "Line up if your first name begins with the letter B." or "Line up if your first name ends in the letter R."

Extra challenge: Have students line up in alphabetical order according to their first names or last names. See if they can do it without talking!

Classroom Letter Hunt
Builds sound-letter recognition and classification skills

Organize students into teams. Give a direction such as "Make a list of ten things that begin with the letter P" or "List five things that end in the letter T." Students on each team brainstorm to create a list. They will learn that they must do this activity quietly so others don't overhear their work. You might challenge them to do the activity by writing rather than talking.

Crossword Vocabulary Check
Builds spelling and vocabulary 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 had to choose the most important thing in life -- but it could not be money? What would you say is the most important thing in life? Why did you choose that thing?

Create a crossword puzzle to review the spelling or vocabulary words introduced in different subjects during the school week. Creating simple crosswords is easy when you use Puzzlemaker also has a tool you can use to create simple word-search puzzles for reviewing spelling or vocabulary words. Students love puzzles, and puzzles provide painless review.

Anagram Puzzles
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: Earth, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus are all planets