Thursday, October 2, 2014

5 More Literacy Activities that Work

This a second post of my favorite literacy activities. Think beyond English language arts and social studies. Try some of these in math or science. 

1. List, Group, Label

Students write a list of words from memory that are related to a particular topic or problem. It's important to give students the opportunity to share their knowledge with others and add to their list based on what they learn from their peers. Then, students group the words according to concepts and themes. When it comes to labeling the categories, they should be interesting and not too broad or too narrow. I provide my students with a list of themes and challenge them to customize the label based on theme and the commonalities of the grouping. This is great to prepare students for thesis statement writing.

2. Diamante Poem

This poem starts with a single-word topic, followed by five lines, each with specific criteria for the type word and amount. The fourth line is a summary of the topic.

critical thinking, writing practice, creativity

3. Stream of Consciousness 

Write for 7 minutes, non-stop, to combine fact dumping and writing fluency. Underline pertinent details. Circle major ideas. Use one idea to write a one-sentence summary in response to the prompt that guided the stream of consciousness. Share with class on the board, sticky, notes in a basket, or, my favorite, on the tack board.

4. Synthesis poem

Students make a bubble map with at least three levels of details. Start with a concept or topic in the middle, write three details, and three more details for each first level of details. The fun part is when students pass their paper in a rotation every 15 seconds, or so. They get to make something together and share ideas in a sort of game setting. Lastly, students write a poem with the  implored bubble map. 

5. Analyzing Political Cartoons

Using cartoons to learn about symbols, audience, and voice is fun for students, especially if it's used to change things up in a non-social studies class. Also, think of it as a conceptual excercise that can be applied to a text or more sunstantial piece. Math and science cartoons can be, as well. 

Thanks for reading. Write comments about ideas, variations, or stories. I like stories.