I saw my students really make connections with words these past two days through a simple activity: using hand motions to represent words and meanings.
I’ve used it in past years, but never with the total success I’ve seen recently.
For our list of ten reading words, we decide upon one hand motion that can be done in silence to represent the definition. Our words this week:
While this list would be a challenge for some of my below level readers, the majority of my students can already tell me meanings of each word, noting the subtle differences between immense and exploding in our movements, the variation of stance in battle compared to warrior, the extra motion in hired as compared to wealthy.
The best part? Students asked me to quiz them today! They wanted to show me they remembered every motion. I even surprised myself by remembering every word without looking at the list. I think after just one 15 minute lesson that’s pretty good.
I learned a lot about those learners within that activity. They need to move. When given a chance to collaborate, they come forward with creative solutions.
It was a beautiful sight seeing 37 fourth graders pantomiming words in unison.
This is the kind of teaching I’ve been missing. This is how we learn.