I was in a crunch for activities to keep my today’s class of grade 2s and 3s occupied, and they were rising on the decibel scale really fast. So, I pulled this tried-and-true solution out of my bag of tricks and got them settled for an entire 30 minutes (I can hear teachers everywhere breathing sighs of relief)!
I wrote the following on the board since tomorrow is Remebrance Day, and handed out lined sheets of paper. I told students to use the letters to make as many words as they could. I made sure to provide examples with the class contributing, packaged it as a challenge of who would find the most words in a half hour, and kicked back.
Then, this happened.
I hadn’t thought about this activity too much with regard to its actual ability to teach students a lot, but today, with students taking the initiative to use dictionaries, I realized it provides a myriad of applications. For one, students were writing words and then looking for rhyming words to increase their word count, others learned new words with the help of their dictionaries. Still others saw patterns in the words and built up steadily on them (e.g. an, ran, bran).
This simple activity can be applied any day of the week or just for special occasions. You can also choose to do it once a week to allow your students the chance to stretch their linguistic brains. And this is applicable across the grades because all you have to do is increase or decrease the complexity of the word to adjust for knowledge levels. Yes, fellow teachers, there are those rare moments when teaching is a cinch!
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