To jump-start creativity, keep a supply of old newspapers on hand. For information processing and communication exercises, students can write new captions for photos, draw new pictures to go with articles, or write new headlines for articles.
Similar to handing out individual chalkboards for student use, whiteboards are the new answer to board work. For better or worse, they are now replacing some of the larger green chalkboards many classrooms have on their walls.
Students can have fun with this language exercise, and communicate with classes in other countries on the internet.
Use music to create a mood for creative writing. Use a CD or tape player and bring your own music or ask for suggestions from your music teacher.
Put an older student with a younger one, in this self-esteem building exercise. Using a Thanksgiving theme, like “Write a story from the turkey’s point of view”, have the younger student tell the story, with the older writing it down.
A list of ideas for incorporating fairy tales and their characters into just about any subject.
Have students create a short auto-biographical essay or list of personal facts, then decorate it with a photo and a fingerprint. You can guarantee that no two will be the same.
Learning about adhesives is a real-world experience. Here are ideas to help the experience stick with your students.
Palindromes are, of course, words, verses or sentences that read backward or forward.
Idioms are phrases with non-literal meanings. Compile a list of idioms, and have students choose five or more. They can draw pictures to represent the idiom.
Students will learn to identify synonyms and antonyms by rewriting headlines from the Sports section of the newspaper.
The student will identify adjectives and adverbs and be able to use them correctly in a Christmas-related creative writing project.
Anagram solving in the classroom (along with the use of other puzzles such as acrostics, crosswords, word-searches, etc.) brings pattern recognition to the problem-solving process. In fact, algorithms have been written to port the process rather successfully over to the computer, to the point that numerous anagram generators can be found on the web. Just type in a word or phrase, hit the button, and all the work is done for you. However, solving problems without electronic intervention can have real-world value not readily apparent to your students.
Have your students come up with acrostics for your school mascot, school name, teacher’s name, or even individual students’ names. These are great for bulletin boards and school displays, and are equally fun (and challenging) on notebook paper.