It’s mid-May…everyone is tired and ready for summer. It seems like you have done everything and the novelty has worn off. Fear not! I am going to tell you five fresh ideas to use a product you probably already have in your classroom (and if you don’t you should get it now!). Here are five ways to use TAH Make Some Inferences! What am I Doing? & What is it? set…
1. Keep it Classic
Use the cards with a small group or a slightly larger group (I’ve used it with about 6-7 students at a time). Read the questions, and have the students say the answer. Simple. You can have the students work for points to spice up the competition. It is also an easy activity to give to a paraprofessional or substitute to do. You can have the students work in teams, Family Feud-style (I love the Feud). Even when you just read the questions and have the students answer, you can target a variety of skills-turn taking; first raising your hand and then responding or working in teams or pairs. Recently, a very generous teacher gave us an Eggspert, which is a game-show style buzzer system. Just reading the questions and having students use the buzzers is really fun!
2. Create Categories
An easy extension to the classic version is to have students categorize the cards after answering the question.
Here are some category ideas for the What is it? cards:
hot foods vs. cold foods
meals (breakfast vs. lunch/dinner vs. snack)
yummy vs. yucky
healthy vs. unhealthy
For the What I am I Doing? card set, you could have students sort…
indoor activities vs. outdoor activities
school activities vs. home activities
fun activities v. boring activities
…the possibilities are endless!
3. Practice Reading Fluency
One of my goals for students is that they are able to play Make Some Inferences! on their own. This inspired me to build the cards into a reading lesson. I had students get a card and read it aloud to me. I noted any words they had difficulty with and used those words to guide a small group lesson on decoding or sight words. Practicing the cards helped my students with their fluency, offered an example of describing and introduced them to vocabulary (in this case, foods and verbs). Fun and functional!
4. Use Visuals
The Make Some Inferences! set seems like it is mostly for your verbal students, but with a few adaptations, you can also use it for your friends who are developing their verbal skills! Make a choice board for each game and your non-verbal students with strong receptive skills will be able to respond! If you have students who are still developing their receptive language skills, use the cards with visuals to teach describing. I also like using a static communication board with the What am I Doing? set, so my non-verbal and limited verbal students can participate in the game while practicing using their communication boards or devices!
5. Write it Out
So, mean ol’ Ms. Bueb covered the clues on inference cards and made the students write the clues. The results were fabulous! It created an opportunity for students to work on their describing and writing. I was able to use the choice boards to help spark the writing process. This could also be a great opportunity for students to work with partners. When I did this with my class, it was helpful for my verbal students who struggle with writing to be paired with students who have strong writing skills. Have the students read their writing aloud to practice their speaking skills. I love it when you can target so many skills into one activity!