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5-Minute Fillers: Research Skills and More

Volume 18

Fitness Break
Builds fitness and thinking skills

Arrange students into pairs. Have each pair sit back-to-back on the floor with their arms linked. Then tell students that they must get to a standing position without unlinking their arms. When everyone is standing, discuss the various methods used.

Name That Caption!
Builds thinking and predicting skills

Provide students with photographs -- with captions removed -- cut from newspapers and/or news magazines. Ask each student to write a caption for his or her photo. Discuss the captions, and compare them with the actual captions.

Classroom Scavenger Hunt
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 you could choose a first name other than the one your were given at birth? What would your name be? Why would you choose that name?

Provide students with a work sheet asking them to "Find someone who. ..." Include several different endings to that statement, such as someone who ... can recite the names of all U.S. presidents, has a birthday in August, knows the capital of Tennessee, and so on. Tell students they must complete the work sheet by finding a person who can answer each question; they must write on the work sheet the person's name as well as the information that person provided. Tell students they can get only one answer per person but that, once they've obtained the information, they can answer the same question for other students.

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.
  • LIT UP

Answers: tulip, carnation, petunia, and geranium are all flowers

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
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