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Language Arts Activities and Tips


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WRITING
DESIGN AND DESCRIBE. Have the students work together in teams to design a toy or sporting product that has never been manufactured. Instruct each team to draw the toy, to write a description of it, and to design the packaging for it. Then have the teams exchange papers and write advertisements for the products they receive. Share the results orally in order to determine how well the product designs were interpreted by the teams who wrote the advertisements.

COMIC CAPERS. Never throw away the comics section of the newspaper--especially four color comics. Start a collection of comics and ask students to bring extra copies from home so that you will have an abundance of comics for class activities such as those below:
1. Cut apart the individual panels of a comic strip and place them in an envelope. Instruct the students to arrange the panels in the proper sequence to tell the story.
2. Cut out the captions from several comic strips and have the students write or recite creative dialogue.
3. Omit the final panel of each of several comic strips and instruct the students to develop original endings.
4. Give each student and "uncut" comic strip and ask him or her to develop a "follow-up" comic based on the characters and the situation.
5. Have the students work in groups to "act out" comic strips before the rest of the class. Ask the class members of the audience to describe something that could happen next.

COOPERATIVE CAMPAIGNS. Discuss how advertising influences what people buy. Show the kids examples of newspaper advertisements and flyers. Ask them to give examples of commercials they've heard on radio and TV. Now divide the class into teams of four. Have each team design a show with a feature that distinguishes it from existing shoes. Next, have the teams create detailed pictures of their shoes, a written description of their shoes, and a slogan or musical jingle. Now have them plan the campaigns. They'll need to select the type of customer who'll buy the shoe, the media they'll use to reach those customers, and the price of a pair of their shoes. Finally, have the teams present their campaigns to the class by doing on of the following: Creating posters (representing print media); Videotaping commercials (representing television); Taping commercials on a cassette recorder (representing radio).

PUBLISHING PAIRS. Entice reluctant writers by having them work with a partner to write the text for their favorite wordless book. To begin, gather a collection of wordless books. Then divide the class into pairs and allow each pair to select a book. Tell the pairs to look through the books and briefly explain the stories to one another. After the pairs have retold the stories, have them collaborate in writing the "text." Then let them share their books with the class--one partner can show the pages while the other reads the story.

CAPTION MATCH. Cut comic strips apart and mount each frame on an index card. Have each student select a frame and write a simple sentence describing it on a separate index card. Next, have the kids tack their sentences on one half of a bulletin board and the cartoon frames on the other half. Then have the students try to match one another's sentences with the cartoon frames.

ORANGE ODYSSEY. Give each student an orange and ask them to write a description of it for a friend who has never seen an orange. They should describe the orange with enough details that their friend could pick out an orange from a bowl of mixed fruit.

ACROSTICS. After your students complete a story, have them write the title vertically down the center of their paper. After highlighting the letters with a marker, they must retell the story, including characters, setting, problem, and plot, in acrostic form.

STORY STARTERS. After your students have learned about the elements of a short story, use this technique to give them something to write about. Cut 4X8 inch strips of yellow, green, and red construction paper and give one of each color to every student. On the yellow strips, have the kids write descriptions of settings. On the green strips, have them write character descriptions. On the red strips, have them write an event from a story plot and indicate whether it happened at the beginning, middle, or end of the story. When they are finished, tell the kids to fold the strips in half and place them in separate containers according to color. Now let each container--making sure the students don't receive their own--and write a short story based on the strips. After you've evaluated the stories, encourage the children to share them with the class.

CREATE A CLIMAX. Juice up your students' creative writing by having them create an ending--or a beginning--for another story. Begin by dividing your class into two groups. Send Group 1 to an area where they can't hear you. Then read a short story--up to the climax--to Group 2. When you've finished reading, have each student in Group 2 write an ending to the story. Collect the story endings from Group 2 and distribute them to Group 1. Now tell the students in Groups 1 to write the beginnings and climaxes for the endings they've received. Finally, have the children share their stories.



GRAMMAR
MAIN IDEA MATCH. Clip newspaper and magazine articles you think will interest your class. Separate the headlines from the articles. Next, laminate the headlines and articles or glue them to tagboard and cut them out. Then, place four articles and their headlines in an envelope. Give each student an envelope and have everyone match the headlines with the articles. When they're finished, have the students share their most interesting article and headline and tell why they match. Then ask the rest of the class whether they think the article and headline match and why.

GRAMMAR GO ROUND. Collect four same size plastic lids, such as those used on large containers of whipped topping. Cut paper disks--all the same color--to fit the lids. With a marker, divide each paper disk into four wedge-shaped pieces so that no two pieces are the same size. Write one word in each wedge. Make all the words on one paper disk the same part of speech (for example, nouns, verbs, adverbs, pronouns). Then cut the wedges apart, mix them up, and put them in an envelope. Use paper fasteners to attach the plastic lids to a piece of posterboard. In a space above each lid, write its label--noun, adverb, and so on. The puzzle user will take all the wedges out of the envelope, sort them into the proper categories, and place them in the appropriately labeled lid.

CONTRACTION MATCH-UP. The object of this game is to match contractions with their base words. Cut ten medium-sized circles from construction paper. Use a marking pen to make a zigzag line through each circle. On one half write a contraction. On the other half, write the words that make the contraction (You are--You're). Cut along a zigzag line. Variations. Use compound words, math facts, foreign language.



PUNCTUATION
PICTURING QUOTATION MARKS. First, take a candid snapshot of every child (or small groups of children) in your class. Attach photos to long sheets of lined paper. Under each photo, write a quotation that shows what the students could be saying, using correct punctuation, including quotation marks. Then let students add their own quotes. Display these quirky quotes for all to see.



VOCABULARY
SENTENCE WORKS. Make story sentence strips and word cards. The child paper clips each word on the blank in the correct sentence and arranges the sentence strips in story sequence.
It ___________ by the tree.
We________________ the ball.
I____________ my ball.
I __________________ my friend.
found called lost played

DICTIONARY DRILL. Divide the class into two teams. Appoint one student to be the scorekeeper and ask the students to keep score on a chart or chalkboard. Distribute dictionaries to the students. Give directions clearly and distinctly, repeating each direction only once. The first person to locate the information should raise his or her hand and shout "dictionary drill." Then the students must give the page number and read the information aloud. If the answer is correct, the scorekeeper may assign one point to the team. If the answer is incorrect, the other team should be given the opportunity to give the correct answer. The team to score 20 points first is the winner. If lively interest is maintained, the class may want to play for the first two out of three games. The following is a list of suggestions to use with the game.
1 Find a six-letter word beginning with s and ending with t.
2 Find a word beginning with l that means the opposite of small.
3 Find a word containing double l's and double o's.
4 Find the name of a tall jungle animal with a long, long neck and lots of spots.
5 Find the name of the largest city in the world.
6 What is the definition of the word "extemporaneous? .
7 On what syllable of the word "hurricane" is the accent mark placed?
8 Find a synonym for the word "sly."

TELL "ABOUTS". Say the word "funny." Have the group repeat it. Ask them to name something that is funny. Model a phrase using the adjective and the item name, e.g., funny picture. Guide individuals in sharing their phrases using the word "funny." On a paper strip, write the child's phrase. Point to the words as you help the child read the phrase. Continue the activity using other adjectives: pretty, warm, old, broken, hungry, etc. Encourage the children to take their phrases home to "read" to their families.

MATCH-UPS. No word in any language is more important to an individual than his or her name. Next time you need a language "pepper upper," try this name game. Instruct the students as follows:
1. Make a grid as shown below.
2. Cut words out of newspapers, junk mail and magazines that begin with the letters of your name and that may be classified as the designated parts of speech.
3. Glue the words in the appropriate spaces.

Parts of Speech
T
A
M
M
Y

Noun
turtle
ape
mail
milk
yarn

Verb
trace
ask
make
move
yelp

Adjective
tall
aspiring
messy
musical
young


WORD CHAIN. Cover the fronts of 12 playing cards with white paper. Help the child write a different word on each card. On a long car ride, play this game with the cards: A player pulls a card from the shuffled stack and reads it aloud. The next player says a word that starts with the last letter of the other player's word. Another player in turn, gives a word that starts with the last letter of the previous player's word. If a player misses, the next player pulls a word card and the game begins anew.

COLORFUL LANGUAGE. Expand your students' color awareness by discussing words that bring particular colors to mind. List on the board: Embarrassed, sad, pure, gloomy, hot, blushing, death, guilty, winter, angry, spring, loud, Fourth of July, peppermint, evil, money, envious, night, somber, dramatic, fresh, sallow, exciting, good, bad, dingy, autumn, salad, surrender, wild, sunny, and healthy. Talk about colors that seem to go with each word and how some words will evoke the same color response from people while others are much more open to interpretation. Ask kids to share other words and colors that go together. Next, give kids a list of colors that are more unusual and ask them to find examples. The list could include: ebony, scarlet, turquoise, henna, ruby, cerulean, mauve, vermilion, tawny, magenta, salmon, khaki, coral, and ivory. As the children become familiar with the more unusual colors and color-mood words, make class lists using these words in interesting similes and word pictures: Her blush was as scarlet as a wild, autumn sunset. Your class will enjoy "coloring up" their vocabulary and finding examples of colors in songs, science, literature, and sports.

FACT OR FICTION. Try this game based on the old TV game show To Tell the Truth, to reinforce vocabulary words. Place five dictionaries at a table, then choose a panel of five students. Place your word list on the board where the entire class can see it. Panelists first secretly choose the one who will tell the truth by giving the actual definition of the first word. The other four panelists must fake their definitions. After the panelists recite their definitions, the students in the "audience" write down the name of the panelist whom they think told the truth, then the panelist who did recite the correct definition stands up. The panelist who fools the most students gets one point. Audience members who identify the real definition get two points. Challenge panelists every few words.

RECIPES FOR READING. Interested in a tasteful way to build vocabulary and comprehension skills? All you need is a variety of cake-mix boxes, cereal cartons, and labels from frozen foods. Make up questions about specific cooking directions and nutritional information given on the packages. For example: What must you do to the cake pan before you pour batter into it? or Which contains more vitamin A--pudding or gelatin? Write questions on cards and note the answers on the back, laminate, then mount packaging and cards on a decorated bulletin board. Ask children to bring in labels and boxes to make up questions to stump their classmates.

FIRST, SECOND. On separate cards, write Monday, Tuesday, 10, 11, 5 o'clock, six o'clock, breakfast, lunch, May, June and other similar items. Shuffle the cards and show each one. Help the class read them. Distribute the cards. Ask an individual to show and read his or her card aloud. The child who has the word that belongs with the presented card stands and rereads the word. The two children display their cards in left to right order, i.e., May, June, etc.

SOUND SCAVENGERS. Reinforce your students' recognition of letter sounds by holding a consonant scavenger hunt. Place objects and pictures of objects whose names begin with the consonants your students have learned in various places around the classroom. Then assign each child a consonant and have the kids search the classroom to collect three items that begin with the sound of their consonant. Let the kids share their discoveries. Then ask them to return the materials and start the activity again.

FILL AND TOSS. Sharpen your students' listening skills with this vocabulary game. Print each vocabulary word you want your students to learn on a separate card. Arrange the kids in a circle on the floor and give each child four cards. Place an empty bucket in the middle of the circle. Now you're ready to play. Read a sentence with one word missing. Ask your students to look over their cards to determine whether they have a word that could complete your sentence. The first student to raise his hand repeats the sentence, filling the blank with the word on his card. Of the answer is correct, the student earns several tries at tossing the card into the bucket. There may be more than one acceptable answer to each sentence, so let other students suggest their words and try to toss their cards into the bucket. If the suggested word doesn't fit, continue playing until an appropriate word is found.

PUZZLING COMPOUNDS. Choose a simple pattern, such as a circle or a square. Using one color of construction paper, trace and cut out one copy of the pattern for each student in your class. Then ask each student for one compound word. Write the first part of each compound word on the top half of a pattern piece and the second part on the bottom half. Cut the patterns in half in a zigzag fashion so that the pieces fit together like puzzles. Finally, laminate the pieces. Scramble the puzzle pieces and spread them face-down on the carpet. Arrange your students in a circle around the game pieces. Ask for a volunteer to turn over one piece and read the word aloud. Then have the student turn over another piece, read that word aloud, and try to match the puzzle pieces. If they match, the student keeps the pieces. If they don't the student turns both pieces face-down on the same spot of the carpet. When the first student's turn is over, have the other students take turns clockwise around the circle. The object of the game is to remember the placement of the pieces. As more pieces are turned, there's more to remember-- and a greater chance of matching. The game ends when the kids have matched all of the words.

DEAD WORDS. It's difficult for students to write creatively with such limited vocabularies. Here is a possible solution: make a dead word bulletin board. Write each overused word on a tombstone made of gray construction paper complete with the letters R.I.P. (after all, the goal is to let the overused words rest in peace). Brainstorm or use a thesaurus to find words to replace the "dead" words. List the alternate words next to the tombstone.


WHEEL OF WORDS. Try this team activity for a fun vocabulary review. First, divide the class into teams of six. On the chalkboard, draw large wheels--one for each team. Next, draw spokes to divide each wheel into six parts. In the center of each wheel, write a word from a recent story or science unit, so that each team has the same word. To play, kids word as a team to write synonyms or antonyms for the word in the center. The round ends when the first team completes its wheel. Award all teams one point for each correct synonym or antonym and continue playing, placing new words in the center of each team's wheel.

PRINT HINT. Here is to improve sight-word recognition. First choose 20 sight words. Look for the words printed in a variety of type styles, colors, and sizes in newspapers and magazines, then cut out several examples of each word. Prepare on game card per student by taping 16 words onto each cardboard card in rows of four by four. Cover cards with clear contact paper. Now play sight-word bingo by calling out words from the list of 20. Children use dried beans to cover words on their cards. The first to fill a row across, sown, or diagonally wins. Kids swap cards and play again.



READING
READING WRAP-UP. Your students can entice one another to read new books with this alternative to book reports. Ask the kids to write short scripts based on a passage from their favorite books. Then let them choose props and costumes and act out their scenes alone or with a cast of classmates. After the students perform for your class, let them take their book shows "on the road" to other classrooms.

5 W'S GAME. You can reinforce reading comprehension skills with this game that focuses on the news-story basics of the five Ws (who, what, when, where, and why.) All you'll need are a die, a player token, and the game cards and game board described below.
To prepare:
1. To make the game cards, clip 40 or so stories collected from newspapers or news magazines. The stories should be short, appealing, and include all five Ws. Mount each story on a 4X6 inch index card.
2. To make the game board, use a sheet of oaktag or poster board. In the middle, draw a box and label it "Game Cards." Around it, draw five circles, each filled with a different color and labeled with one of the five "W" questions. Around the board make a border of boxes. Mark one box "Start." Color the boxes with the same colors used on the question circles and number them randomly from one to nine. Distribute both the colors and the numbers as evenly as possible.
To Play:
1. Player One draws the top game card and reads the story aloud.
2. He then rolls the die and advances accordingly. The color of the box he lands on indicates the W question he must answer.
3. If the group thinks his answer is correct, he gets the number of points shown on the box where he landed. If the group thinks his answer is incorrect, he gets no points. He puts the game card at the bottom of the stack.
4. Play continues in this way until all players have returned to "Start" or until a time limit is reached. The highest score wins.

HUNTING FOR HEADLINES. Clip news articles out of local newspaper. (Cut out the appropriate number of articles to meet the students' ability levels.) Cut the headlines off the articles and put both the articles and the headlines in a large envelope. Instruct the students to remove the articles and headlines from the envelope, to read the articles, and to select the correct headline for each article. More mature students may be asked to find the who, what, when, and where of the articles and/or to write a different headline for each article.

SPELLING
SKETCH AND SPELL. Promote success in spelling with this Pictionary-like game. Divide your class into two or more teams. Select a player from one team to go to the board. Whisper a spelling word to the player and give him 30 seconds to draw clues on the board for his team. Use of words or letters in clues is unacceptable and results in the team's disqualification for one round. If the team correctly guesses and spells the word in the allotted time, it receives a point, if not, another team has 10 seconds to guess and spell the word. If no team can determine the word, reveal it. Give the next team a new word. (For very young students, substitute the alphabet for the spelling words.)

PASS THE BALL. A ball is passed down the row as each child gives one letter of a spelling word which is pronounced by the teacher. When the word is missed, that child is out. You may also want to do this game in a large circle in which the students roll the ball in the circle while spelling a letter of the word.

DEFINE-O. Try this variation on Bingo to reinforce spelling. Distribute rectangular pieces of tagboard and have students draw two lines horizontally and two lines vertically, creating nine boxes in all. Instruct students to write "Define-O" at the top of their game cards, then write a different word from the week's spelling list in each box, except the center one, this is a free space. To play the game, stand at the front of the classroom and call out one word definition at a time. When a pupil's card contains the word that matches the definition, he or she covers the space with a small square of paper. The first child to cover three spaces horizontally, vertically, or diagonally calls out "Define-O," wins the game. As a prize the winner may call out the definitions for the next round.

DEFINE-O


STRAIGHT
WEDNESDAY
SOUND

WALK
FREE SPACE
APPLE

FRIGHTEN
CHARACTER
TEACHER


FOOTBALL SCOREBOARD. Draw a football field like the one pictured. Divide the class into two teams and give each a few minutes to choose a team name. Put the names on the board and you're ready for the kickoff! Flip a coin to see which team will go first. Give the first team a word to spell and let members huddle for a predetermined amount of time. Then one of the team members must spell the word. If the word is spelled correctly, put a check beside the 10-yard line. Play continues until the first team misses a word or reaches its own 10-yard line a team reaches its own 10-yard line, the next word is worth six points. At this point, the team has 10 seconds to huddle and decide if it wants a hard word or an easy one. One child, without help from the others, must spell the word. A hard word is worth two points for the conversion. An easy word is worth only one for the kick. One way to differentiate between hard and easy words is to say that an easy word is one that has been on a previous spelling list. A hard word is one that students haven't had yet. If a team misses a word, it has to "turn over the ball" to the other team, which starts from the 10-yard line on the opposite side. To add a little strategy to the game, let each team call timeout and go into a huddle to decide if it wants to stop its procession down the field and go for a field goal, that is spell a word for three points and then turn the ball over. Allow only three timeouts per half. Set a penalty of 10 yards for being in a huddle too long. Make sure you set a time limit for the length of your game before you begin.

ALPHABET ANTICS. The following activities are "quickies" to be used to fill the ten or fifteen minute periods before lunch and at the end of the day, or to relieve boredom and restlessness in those "sure to occur" periods when time is too short for a real lesson buy too long to waste. Cut and paste each letter on an index card and file alphabetically in a file box. Each idea may be presented as a chalkboard or verbal discussion activity for full-group participation; as an assigned pencil and paper project for individual students; as a small group project for students to compete against one another and the clock. Or, the file box may be placed in a learning center or free time activity center for individual use.
A--For each letter of the alphabet, list an animal that begins with that letter.
B--Draw the biggest capital "B" you can on a sheet of drawing paper. Fill the "B" with words that begin with "B.".
C--Write the names of twenty countries in alphabetical order.
D--Use your dictionary to design a word-find puzzle including 10 words that begin with the letter "D" and 10 words that end with the letter "D".
E--Extra! Extra! Read all about it. Read the editorial section of your newspaper. Write a letter to the editor agreeing or disagreeing with an idea expressed.
F--Find a friend to work with you to make a list of at least 15 words that name traits of a true friend.
G--List 10 great ideas for improving your study skills to help you get great grades.
H--Draw a hidden picture puzzle with pictures of seven things whose names begin with letter "H" hiding in the scene.
I--Write 3 words beginning with each of the letters: a, e, i, o, u, and y.
J--Write 2 words beginning with each of the letters: b, c, d, f, g, h, j, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, and x.
K--Draw a big kite. Fill it with words beginning with the letter "K.."
L--Write 12 words that contain more than one "L."
M--Write the names of 10 mother animals. Beside the name of each animal, write the baby animal's name.
N--List 9 numbers that begin with the letter "N."
O--In one times three minutes, list as many three letter words as you can that begin with the letter "O."
P--Draw pictures of 10 foods whose names begin with the letter "P."
Q--Design a patchwork quilt with 26 squares. Draw a picture of something whose name begins with each letter of the alphabet in the squares.
R--Race with a friend to see who can write the most words with the letter "R" as the second or third letter in the word.
S--Write 10 compound words beginning with the word "snow."
T--Time yourself! In 10 minutes, write as many words as you can out of the letters "Timex."
U--Draw pictures of six things you could stand under.
V--Write 7 words beginning with the letter "V" and ending with the letter "E."
W--List 10 words that could tell why something happened, list 12 words that could tell when something happened, and list 20 words that could tell where something happened.
X--Write a dozen words beginning with the letter "E" and having the letter "X" as the second letter.
Y--Draw and color a scene with pictures of 10 yellow things in the scene.
Z--Make a word-find puzzle with one word beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Trade puzzles with a friend and see who can find the 26 words first.

FACT OR FICTION. Try this game based on the old TV game show To Tell the Truth, to reinforce vocabulary words. Place five dictionaries at a table, then choose a panel of five students. Place your word list on the board where the entire class can see it. Panelists first secretly choose the one who will tell the truth by giving the actual definition of the first word. The other four panelists must fake their definitions. After the panelists recite their definitions, the students in the "audience" write down the name of the panelist whom they think told the truth. Then the panelist who did recite the correct definition stands up. The panelist who fools the most students gets one point. Audience members who identify the real definition get two points. Challenge panelists every few words.

MATCH-UP. The object of this game is to match contractions (or any other matchable items) with their base words. Cut ten medium-sized circles from construction paper. Use a marking pen to make a zigzag line through each circle. On one half write a contraction. On the other half, write the words that make the contraction (You are--You're). Cut along a zigzag line. Variations. Use compound words, math facts, foreign language.

CATEGORY GAME. Divide the class into groups of six to eight players. Reproduce enough copies of the game sheet so that each player can have one. Pick a letter of the alphabet (Avoid the letters Q, X, Y, and Z). Name the letter and give students three minutes to write a word that begins with that letter in each of the five category boxes. At the end of the three minutes, students in each group compare answers. If two students in a group have the same answer, both of them must cross off that answer and receive no points for it. Students record their scores for each round. They receive one point for each answer that is both correct and unique within the group. Pick another letter and play a second round in the same manner. After five rounds, total the individual round scores. Add a bonus point for each column in which there are no blanks, incorrect answer, or words that have been crossed off because of duplication. At the end of five rounds, the student in each group with the highest score is declared the winner for that group.

ROUND
LETTER
Flower
Tree
Fish
Bird
Mammal
SCORE

1
S
sunflower
spruce
snapper
swallow
sheep
5

2
D
daisy
dogwood

dove
dog
4

3
R
rose


raven
rat
3

4
P
petunia
pine
perch
pelican
porcupine
5

5
A
aster
ash


anteater
3

RELAY WRITING. Divide the class into 4-5 teams. Try to have the same number of students on each team. Make the same number of columns on your board as you have number of teams. Write sample words to start a sentence for each team. Students form a line for each team. At the "Go" signal, the first in each line races to the board and writes a word that will continue the sentence. When this student adds a word, he runs back to tag the next student who then races to the board, adds a word and so on. The first team to complete a sentence wins. You may want to have more teams with fewer students giving each child more chances to participate.

SIXTY SECOND SOLUTIONS. Problem solving is an important life skill. The following is a list of problem solving topics to use with your children when you have a few extra minutes.
1. You saw money fall out of a classmate's pocket. He doesn't know it fell out. No one else has seen it but you. What should you do?
2. You have a new classmate who doesn't speak English. How will you help him or her feel welcome in class and on the playground?
3. Your pet followed you to school this morning. It's almost time for school to start and you'll be late if you take your pet home. What will you do?
4. Your parents gave you a key to let yourself into the house when you get home. You lost the key. What will you do?
5. You are home alone and someone comes to the front door. What will you do?
6. You are at a large shopping center with your parents. You stop just for a moment to look in a store window and when you turn around your parents are nowhere to be seen. What will you do?
7. All the kids in class are talking about the exciting party a classmate has invited them to. You never got an invitation. How do you feel? What will you do?
8. You found an unopened candy bar on a park bench. You are really hungry! What will you do?
9. Your friends call you chicken because you won't do something they are doing. What will you do?
10. Your parents are picking you up from school but they are already ten minutes late. What should you do?
11. You are standing in line and someone pushes you. What will you do?
12. Your best friend told you that he took something from a classmate. He asks you to keep it a secret. What should you do?
13. You're walking to school and you're late. You've already been late three times this week! Someone stops and offers you a ride to school. What will you do?
14. School's over for the day. The bus leaves and after a while you realize you got on the wrong bus. What will you do?
15. You got in trouble on the playground for something you didn't do. What will you do?
16. A classmate keeps picking on you and calling you names. What will you do?

MAP QUIZ GAME. With the children make this quiz game. On the chalkboard, write these quiz statements: 1. It begins with the letter W. It's the capital of the United States. 2. It begins with the letter F. It's east of Germany. List other similar items and invite volunteers to compose some. Try to list 24 items. On separate cards write the quiz statements. Display maps of the United States and the world. The children form teams. A member from one team pulls a card from the stack of cards. Another player on that team reads the statements aloud. The team confers on the answer, gives it and points to its location on the appropriate map. For giving the correct name and location, the team earns 20 points.

THE NAME GAME. Try this game when reviewing information about story characters, famous people from history, or current newsmakers. Write the names of people students are reviewing on separate slips of paper, and allow one for each child. Choose one student to start the game. Without letting him or her see the name, tape a slip of paper on the student's back. The child shows the name to classmates, then tries to figure out the famous person's identity by asking questions of the class. Kids may ask only questions that can be answered with yes or no. For example, Do I play sports? or Am I the leader of a country? When the student discovers his or her secret identity, or has asked 10 questions, remove the name tag and choose a new player.

THE NAME GAME II. Print words that the students are using in content area reading (social studies, science, etc.) on index cards and print their definitions on other index cards. Place the words in one box and the definitions in another. Make an answer key by writing the words and their definitions on a piece of paper. Place the answer key in an envelope to be taped to one of the boxes. Instruct the students to match the words and definitions and to check themselves against the answer key.

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