December 28, 2015

Mind Boggling Monday: New Year ELA Ideas

Well, my mind was certainly boggled! What was I thinking? To not have Mind Boggling Monday until mid-January? EEK! A game of boggle is perfect to start the mind juices flowing again after a long holiday break. It's perfect for morning work on that first day back, allowing the teacher to catch a breath and get those housekeeping chores completed. Here's a fun, sparkly New Year boggle board for you and your students. Just download the image and project it for you to have some fun! But don't just stop with a game of boggle. Keep reading for loads of ELA activities to fill your morning back after break.

Not sure how to play Boggle? Click HERE for the original game rules.

Need a Boggle board that you can edit yourself? Click HERE for a free editable board.

Want a blank boggle board template for your students to use with classroom boggle? Click HERE.

How about a variety of editable boards to change with the seasons? Click HERE for a bundle of fifteen.

Speaking of New Year... here's another fun little freebie that you can also use to motivate your students in those opening moments of the first day back from break. Sneak in a mystery picture and sneak in some Language Arts review with identifying parts of speech. My kiddos clamor for mystery pictures! I don't think they recognize that it's school WORK. They think of mystery pictures as just FUN! You can download your New Year mystery picture HERE. And if you like this mystery picture, check out this link for a WHOLE PASSEL of mystery pictures for all the seasons and holidays.

And if a game of boggle and a mystery picture aren't enough, here's a fun game of ZAP! that also focuses on parts of speech. Click HERE to get your own copy.

What? Not sure what ZAP! is?

For those of you who don't know how to play ZAP, here's a quick run down. The game consists of playing cards in a container (generally a Pringle's can). The cards focus on a particular skill (in this case, identifying nouns, verbs, and adjectives).

  1. Divide your class into several teams depending on the number of students. Determine how long you will play or how many rounds you will complete. 
  2. Have a student draw a strip from the container without looking inside. 
  3. The team should read the words on the strip, then confer to determine the answer.
  4. If the team answers correctly, it keeps the strip. If it answers incorrectly the strip is returned to the container.
  5. Teams take turns drawing/collecting the strips. However, there is a twist. If a team draws a ZAP! card, it must return ALL of its strips to the container. 
  6. The winner is the team that collects the most strips. You may want to award them with a simple prize such as a treat, bonus points on an upcoming quiz/test, 5 minutes of free time, etc.
Now, doesn't that sound like a fun activity to include in your first day back after break?

Still need a few more ELA activities to fill your morning back after break? High energy or focused study? How about a game of scoot or doing an interactive notebook lesson? This set of noun task cards might be just what you need. You can read more about them HERE.


I hope that your return back to classes after break is smooth and wonderful and that you might have found an idea or two here that helped make it that way!

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