My kids are ridiculously hard workers. They deserve a break from the drill and kill that the county/state insists on. Which means as a teacher, I have had to become creative. So this thing was born.
The concept is easy. I came up with 33 questions that could easily be used for just about any text. Some are more appropriate for informational texts, some for narrative, and some for either. When I use these during Teacher Time, I choose carefully based on our close read.
In the file I have up on TPT, the cards are placed on a blank background so you can use any colored card stock your little organized heart desires. I went with pink, orange, and yellow. Not-so-shockingly, my girls went all Hunger Games style on each other for all the pink cards. Probably should have thought that one through first.
Anywhere, want to see it in action? Look at my adorable little super star with a blue smiley face. I could eat him. I won’t. That would be a breach of my contract, I think.
Everything is thrilling when you are 8 years old and you have a highlighter in your hand. Even a FOURTH close read.
Example of how one of my girls used the cards with fill in the blanks. I filled these in based on the text, prior to starting the game. This allowed me to walk around the room and check on the rest of the centers while my hard workers at Teacher Time searched for evidence. Again, this was accomplished after a fourth read.
The sheer amount of colorful cards.
By the way, I threw the game label on half of a manilla file folder. I cut an entire manilla folder in half, then laminated it WHILE FOLDED. I cut around the edges, leaving plenty of room to stay sealed. Then I used sharp scissors to cut the top part of the folder, so I could throw the cards inside. Some groups picked out of the folder, but then I got tired of that and just put them face-down on the table for later groups instead. Sorry, kids.
No matter how you utilize something like this, the point is that a) they are engaged and b) they are thinking deeply about the text. I would emphasize that it’s important that the students have read the text at least two times before playing this type of game for a few reasons. One, they likely have a better understanding of the text as a whole. Two, they will be able to locate their evidence much more quickly, than if this is based on just a first read. This could frustrate them and reduce the practicality of the game.
So there it is. Operation: Evidence.
Would love to give this away to one person by the end of the week. Tell me: what do YOU do to keep the kids engaged and excited to learn, even with the heavy, sometimes suffocating rigor involved with education today?
Happily given away to follower, dburr2014!