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5-Minute Fillers: Observation and Vocabulary Skills

Volume 34

Quick Change
Builds observation skills

Call on a child to come to the front of the classroom. Invite the other students to observe carefully everything about the student because, in 60 seconds, you will ask the student to leave the room and change just one thing about him or herself. While the student is gone, he or she might move a watch from one wrist to another, unbutton a button, take off a belt, or When the student returns, students might write their names and the change they observe on a piece of scrap paper. See how many students are keen observers and can identify the change.

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 solve any one of the world's problems? Which problem would you choose to solve? Why?

Seven-Up Vocabulary
Builds vocabulary skills

All children love the popular classroom game Seven Up, Stand Up. Add a slight twist in this version. Have each of the "Its" hold a card with a vocabulary word written on it. When it comes time for the students seated at their desks to guess who tapped them, the students insert the word the tapper is holding in place of his or her name. (For example, "Was it doubt?" or "Was it evaporate?") If the student guesses the correct tapper, he or she gets to be "It" if s/he can correctly defines the term. Hand out new vocabulary cards to the seven new "Its" and play another round

Syllable Sorting
Builds vocabulary, spelling, and syllabication skills

Write in random sequence on a transparency or chart the syllables that make up a number of different words. For example, for younger students you might write the syllables for two-syllable words, as follows:

ball, base, ing, la, learn, ple, port, re, tri, zy

Challenge the students to write on a piece of scrap paper the five words that can be made from those ten syllables.

Answers: baseball, learning, lazy, triple, report.

For older students, provide more words or increase the number of syllables in words; for example, have students use 30 syllables you provide to form ten 3-syllable words.

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.



you looking


Answers: 1. Lazy afternoon; 2. take from the rich and give to the poor; 3. looking after you; 4. wool overcoat


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