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5-Minute Fillers: Vocabulary, Geography, and More

Volume 19

Name Game
Builds vocabulary skills and self-esteem

Have students create an acrostic using the letters of their own names. Each line should identify one of their most important qualities or characteristics that begins with the letters of their name.

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 all the students in your class were participants on a new version of Survivor? Who would remain after everybody else has been kicked off the island? Why did you choose that person?

Alphabet Country
Builds geography skills

Ask students to sit in a circle on the floor. Choose a student and ask him or her to name a country of the world that begins with the letter A. The next student in the circle should name a country that begins with B, then C, and so on until the class has identified a country for every letter of the alphabet (except X). If a student cannot name a country, the turn passes to the next student in the circle. If more than three students in a row are stumped by the same letter, return to the first stumped student and allow him or her to look for a country on a map or globe. If time allows, ask each student to create an alphabet book of the countries of the world.

Got a Minute?
Builds time and estimation skills

How long is a minute? Talk with students about how long a minute is (60 seconds, 1/60th of an hour). Do they think they are good judges of how long a minute is? Tell them that you are going to say "Go." At that time, you will use a watch with a second hand to measure one minute. Before you begin, direct students to raise their hands when they think a minute has passed. Which student comes closest to raising her/his hand at the 60-second mark? Try again -- see if practice helps students get better at judging the length of a minute. You might let the student who comes closest to a minute be in charge of calling "Go" and measuring the next minute.


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.



pig pig pig [Note: Write the words in small print.]


Answers: 1. Split personality; 2. Jack in the box; 3. The Three Little Pigs; 4. "Batter up!"

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
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