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Friday, March 30, 2012

Antsy April

As a kid, remember being in classrooms in April? It was almost May, and school was almost out. My mind was on summer break and having fun. Yet, as a student then later as a teacher, testing loomed overhead like a black storm cloud. As birds chirped outside school windows, my mind floated to warm days where I sat anywhere but in the classroom. 

Finding interesting projects that engage learners can be difficult. It's the time of year to take students outdoors for activities. Try Sidewalk Characters if reading novels:

1. To make these, have students (individually or in groups) choose one favorite character from a novel.
2. Make a list of the novels being used on a sheet of paper (you can Xerox this ahead of time).
3. Give each individual or group a number.
4. . Find ten quotes from the novel that define the character's physical features and traits.
5. Go outdoors where plenty of sidewalk space exists.
6. Have one student lay on the sidewalk while others trace a body outline. Bring full aprons to put on students if desired.
7. Fill in the body outline with physical features. ie. How do you think the character looks based on evidence from the novel?
8. Write quotes from the book inside and outside of the traced body outlines. 
9. When finished, place your given number above the body. 
10. Hand individuals or groups a sheet of paper with numbers listed.
11. Find the right title for as many novels as possible on the numbers sheet.

For more fun and engaging, interactive, outdoor ideas, see:
Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers

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