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5-Minute Fillers: Language, Analogy, and More

Volume 20

Headline Stories
Builds news reading, main idea skills

Before doing this QuickTivity, cut out 20 newspaper articles from the daily paper. Make five copies of each article. Separate the news story headlines from each group of articles. Organize students into five groups. Give each group an identical set of articles and headlines. Give students three minutes to match as many stories as possible with their headlines. The group that correctly matches the most headlines and stories is the winner.

Excellent Spelling Sentences
Builds spelling and 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 you were asked to tell about your worst habit? What would that habit be?

This Friday, when you have your weekly spelling test, instead of making up sentences using the spelling words use actual sentences written by your students as one of their weekly spelling word assignments. Be sure to mention who wrote the excellent sentences as you say them. That way, students will try to write better sentences so their sentences will be read aloud on Friday. You might keep a chart tracking the number of sentences you use for each student and award a monthly prize to the student or students who write the best sentences.

Search for Synonyms
Builds language skills (synonyms and antonyms)

After reading a section of text, arrange students into small groups and challenge the groups to find as many synonyms as they can in that text. They might also search for antonyms.

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. Fast is to quick as loud is to _____.
a. speedy
b. noisy
c. concert
d. rush

2. Green is to go as yellow is to _____.
a. stop
b. speed
c. slow
d. bright

3. Seed is to tree as egg is to _____.
a. breakfast
b. bird
c. sprout
d. dozen

4. River is to land as veins are to _____.
a. blood
b. body
c. lake
d. highways

5. Rich is to money as well is to _____.
a. water
b. deep
c. health
d. wishes


Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
Copyright © 2004 Education World