The activity below can help ALL students learn, especially slower readers and slower learners. It could be considered a fun activity because it makes a student play with her/his language. As a former educator, I remain convinced that kids learn vocabulary and new concepts by playing with new words over and over again.
That is how we learned to speak as infants and toddlers. Since we think in words, we learn in words by using them with new ideas! To discuss a new word or idea in school or at home, one time, is not enough. That word/idea must be discussed many times in a variety of situations.
A teacher can easily create a sheet like the one below using a word processor. The sheet can provide quiet time in class where students can work alone or in pairs. At home, a parent can use the activity as homework to reinforce what a child learned in class.
For Activity 9, suppose a student is studying the principle that a lever can make work easier. After perusing a unit or chapter about machines from the student’s text, you have uncovered what you feel a child must learn by the end of the unit to do well at test time.
Some of the concepts about levers might be these.
1. People have made machines to help make work easier.
2. A lever is one kind of machine.
3. A lever can multiply human force.
4. A lever is like a seesaw.
5. The lever rests on a fulcrum.
6. By moving the fulcrum closer to the load, lifting power increases.
7. A long board sitting over a brick makes a good lever.
8. One person can lift two if the brick fulcrum is moved closer to the load.
9. A car jack is a good lever.
10. A downward force of a person’s hand can lift a heavy car.
The concepts I’ve written above are quite simple. It is up to you as a teacher or parent to adapt this activity as you see fit for the level of your students/child. Without a doubt, there will be many other concepts a child will need to learn. However, it is critical that you select the critical concepts your child will be responsible for at test time and review them many times. The same activity sheet can be read with a child again and again.
Helpful Hint: Parents, for Activity 9 — If your child does not easily recognize the scrambled vocabulary word in the sentence, draw attention to the word bank.
Helpful Hint: Teachers, for Activity 9 — It might be helpful if you put a word bank of all the important vocabulary words for this lesson/unit on the blackboard. It is important to touch or point out a word on the board as many times as possible while you discuss it in your lesson.
Worksheet — Activity 9
On your worksheet there are sentences, but one word in each sentence is mixed up. Unscramble the letters of the mixed up word then write the sentence on the blank space. If you need help, there is a word bank at the bottom of the page.
1. People have made smeanchi to help make work easier.
2. A eerlv is one kind of machine.
3. A lever can ullmyipt human force.
4. A lever is like a wasees.
5. The lever rests on a cruumfl.
6. By moving the fulcrum serolc to the load, power to lift increases.
7. A long darbo sitting over a brick makes a good lever.
8. One person can lift two if the brick fulcrum is moved closer to the lado.
Even if done in school as constructive seatwork, this activity could be repeated again as a homework assignment, particularly for a slower child.
Look for the next Activity — 10 to follow in a few days. May all go well for you!