Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rare and Unexpected

We did a verb sort in my class today. Using their independent reading, the thesaurus, and small group discussions, students found the three strongest verbs they could and wrote them on post-it notes. Next, their "sticky stacks" were collected and randomly distributed to other kids in the room. Those students were directed to sort the verbs into the categories of "Snaps," "Crackles," "Pops," or "Sings."

We defined the headings beforehand as verbs that insist on your attention or break things (snap), verbs that have lots of energy (crackle), verbs that stand out from everything around them (pop), and verbs that just hit the right note (sing). The next step was for students to begin to curate their own verb collection for their writer's notebook. They chose the ten verbs that spoke to them most and recorded them. Each student also had a tiny green dot with which to vote for their favorite verb of the day.

Lastly, students wrote a sentence, not just using that favorite verb of theirs, but showcasing it, letting it shine in glorious context.

I liked this activity for many reasons. We reviewed a key part of speech and practiced dictionary skills. Kids discussed how published authors use verbs with their peers. They evaluated many verbs and chose the ones they liked, and then used them in a strong sentence.

But most of all, I liked that the number one verb of the day my students chose was wonder.

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