What Do I Need?
Where Do You Get Your Words?
How does it work?
Placing the Words in Context
Giving Up the Power
After a 2-3 days of teacher-led questions and sentences, it’s the perfect time to hand over the control. Give students the opportunity to be the teacher – asking friends to identify words, creating synonyms, writing sentences with missing words for their friends to “solve”. Students love being in charge (and having teacher permission to do so) and it really requires that they own the words they are quizzing their friends on!
How Long Does it Last?
Friends – guided reading is THE most important part of my day. I use Jan Richardson’s “The Next Step in Guided Reading” to structure my time, so Word Work is just one part of our time together. This game is intended to be simple and QUICK! So, we spend no more than 3 (4 max) minutes on it. It’s a warm-up and fast paced…then, it’s time to move on!
Other Ways to Use This Game
- Numbers – Print a number or equation on the cards. As a math warm-up describe the numbers in different ways and have students identify the numbers you’re describing. “I’m thinking of a number that is 6 more than 5.” “I’m thinking of a number that adds with 7 to make a ten.” “I’m thinking of a number that you would count when counting by 2s starting at 5.”
- Vocabulary – No matter the content (reading, science, social studies, math, etc.) students can get some quick in-action practice. From synonyms, antonyms, real-life examples, and definitions – there are TONS of opportunities for students to think about a word in different ways.
- Pictures – For pre-readers or friends who need more support, you might have pictures (easily found on Google) that describe different concepts. You could use adjectives to describe a pictures and students have to identify it. You might also describe different settings or characters and have students identify them. Then, students can easily add their own details or use the pictures for a writing prompt in Work on Writing.