Sunday, March 23, 2014

Keeping Students Busy Busy Busy During Spring Fever

Wooh Spring fever has hit hard.  It's hit me, the students, and parents.  Wait, what's homework?  Where do pencils go?  What are we learning next??  Oh. My. Lordy.  To keep students engaged I've had to jazz up a few lessons.  Last week I had to switch gears when I realized attention spans we're flying out the window- one after another.  I vaguely remembered reading about a game somewhere and decided to give it a go.  It is a fun vocab game for ESL students but would also be perfect for working with vocabulary in a traditional classroom, and for a quick and easy brain break!   You can super easily differentiate it!

First separate your class into 2-4 groups.  Have each group stand in a line in front of your whiteboard {or chalkboard!}.  Write a word on the board in front of each line.  Then, the first student in the line of each group must use the last letter of the word to write a new word below it.  So if the first word is Beautiful, the next word must start with "L".  Then the marker is passed back to the next student and they write a word.  If I were to incorporate this game into a traditional classroom, I would have students use only nouns, or only verbs, or words that are 7 letters or longer, or only words that begin with a prefix.  I keep a word wall nearby to support my ESL kiddos, but many don't even look that way.  Allow students to continue the relay for 2 minutes.  {That's more than enough time!}

Review the words, correct spelling, and cross out any repeats {I cross out any words that both groups used- this negates the copy cats}.  And then count up the words each group wrote.  The group with the most words "wins".  It usually takes one or two rounds to get into a groove but all of my students who have played this game really love it!  I hope you can use it in your classroom.  It makes for a simple and fun brain break!

Below I have included some possible vocabulary categorizations.  What other categories can you think up?!

Possible Vocabulary Categorizations:
-  Nouns
-  Verbs
-  Words that begin with prefixes
- Words about science
-  Words about math
-  Words about friendship
-  Adjectives
-  Words about holidays
-  Words about your house
-  Words about the weather
-  Words about movies
-  Words about school
-  Words about clothing
-  Words about food

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