The Power of Puzzles

What is the educational value for completing word puzzles?

This is a great question, that has been debated by many educators.

http://bit.ly/WWPpuzzlemaker
http://bit.ly/WWPpuzzlemaker

Working with spelling words and new vocabulary, seems like a justifiable use for using word puzzles.  However; when created by the teacher, the students require no creative thinking and often lack the comprehension and connection to the new vocabulary.   Sort of a worksheet in a different form.  So how do we “up” the value?  This value increases when you have them create their own word puzzles.

On the Discovery Education Site students can create

  • Crosswords

    Fallen Phrase
    Fallen Phrase
  • Word Search with Hidden Message
  • Criss-Cross Puzzle
  • Cryptograms
  • Letter Tiles
  • Fallen Phrase
  • Double Puzzles

All which link vocabulary to meaning.

After students have created their word puzzle, on the iPad hold finger on the image and download into photos.  In Photos share or upload the image into Notability and have students compete.

On macbook, right click on image and save.  Share via email or google drive then download image and add image to a notebook file and use pens to complete.

 

 

 

 

Using “Book Creator” or “Explain Everything” to create a How To Book

“How to Videos” are a craze on YouTube.  To bump up the “How to”  use Book Creator or Explain Everything.  Both of these apps give a variety of extra tools to create a better procedural writing.

Bring in artifacts, such as skipping rope, card game, etc

Criteria:

  • at least one video

  • a picture

  • a soundbite

  • a drawing

  • text,  explaining  sequence

  • Uses transitional words to show sequence:

  • A, B, C, and so forth.
  • first, second, third, and so forth.
  • after, afterward, and then,
  • at this point, at this time, before this,
  • concurrently, consequently,
  • finally, following this,
  • hence, next, now,
  • previously, simultaneously,
  • soon, subsequently,
  • then, therefore, thus

*Students can also use iMovie

Using iMovie to “Produce” a Poem

Use this poem to create an iMovie.

The Bluebird Poem 1

or on Canada and government

I am Canadian Poem

imovieipad2 for iPads

imovie8greenscreen for Macbooks

  1.  Read the poem
  2. Chunk the poem into parts (stanzas, couplets, etc)
  3. Find images for each of the parts (google image search, search tools, usage rights) and save to device
  4. Create a new iMovie
  5. IMovie must include:
  • Titles
  • Digital stills
  • Theme music, which fits the poem
  • Sound effects
  • Audio of reading of poem, making sure to capture the mood

 

Engaging Activities for Reading Poetry

Much to the surprise of my colleagues, I find it so easy to get kids to enjoy, explore and critique poetry.  Giving students opportunities to explore a variety of poems, with very little guidance, and a whole lot of sharing, opens up discussions about poetic devices, themes, and messages in poetry.   As students are exposed to these samples, they are more prepared and excited about writing and creating their own poems.

Here are few activities I have done with my students.

Puzzle Poems

  • Find poems that do not mention the subject in the piece
  • Remove the title
  • Ask students pairs/groups to read poem
  • Have the groups decide on a title, and explain their decision based on quotes from poem
  • Share as a class suggested titles
  • Discuss as class why and why not each title works
  • Finally share the Poet’s Title
  • Have students discuss/write about their agree/disagreement with the poet’s title

Puzzlepoem

Poetic Device Scavenger Hunt

  • gather up a variety of poetry anthologiesBoys Reading Poetry
  • discuss with students several poetic devices, giving samples
  • In partner/groups have students search through anthologies finding examples of the these poetic devices
  • Do not stop them from sharing their favourite poems, often unexpected student will want to share a poem they connect with
  • Share findings of poetic devices as a class (post findings)
  • Allow students to explain why or why not these are examples

Poetic Device Definition

Poetic Devices Scavenger Hunt