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by Kristin M. Woolums, M. Ed.
In groups of four, have each person write an opening to a story (a mystery, a silly story, or whatever you decide). Let them write a story opener for 5 minutes, then pass the paper to their left. The next person reads the story opener of the person who just passed to them, then continues the story by adding the conflict or problem. This person also writes for five minutes. Then, each person passes again to the left, reads what’s written, then writes for five more minutes (continuing the story), and then pass again. Finally, each person writes a final time (the conclusion), and then passes so that each person has the story they began. Once they see what their group members wrote, the giggle fest begins! And guess what… they just wrote four paragraphs!
I like to send my students on a “scavenger hunt” to review the topics we learned throughout the year (see attached details and grading rubric). Although you could easily tailor this project to any subject area, I use this idea in math. This review project shows that the concepts they’ve learned in math have real-world relevance, application and connection. The students enjoy the openness and creativity with which they’re tasked – no rigid project rules here! Students’ projects are so creative and different from one another, too! (A big thank you goes to Sharon Shaw for the idea; I took her high school version and made it fifth-grade appropriate).
I love the variety of PowerPoint games you can find online these days! From Jeopardy! to Who Wants to be a Millionaire! to Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?… the options are endless! You can choose from making your own questions from the templates or the ready-made games (both free!) chock full of good review questions. Use your favorite search engine to find the exciting options out there!
As we draw to the close of another school year, we need to keep the academics flowing even if the energy level is low. Students will enjoy these hands-on, energetic activities that review and reinforce the concepts taught throughout the year!
Kristin M. Woolums, M. Ed., teaches fifth grade at a private school in Atlanta and works at The School Box at Southlake during the summer months.
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