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English Brainstormers!: Ready-to-Use Games & Activities That Make Language Skills Fun to Learn

ISBN: 978-0-7879-6828-1
320 pages
February 2003, Jossey-Bass
English Brainstormers!: Ready-to-Use Games & Activities That Make Language Skills Fun to Learn (0787968285) cover image
For English and language arts teachers in grades 6-12, here's a unique collection of over 180 fun-filled, ready-to-use activities that help build the skills your students need for test-taking and overall academic success. These activities make learning enjoyable and stimulating while covering the entire English curriculum, including grammar, mechanics, vocabulary, creative writing, literature, research, and critical thinking.
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ABOUT THIS RESOURCE vii

SECTION ONE
THIS IS NOT YOUR GRANDMA’S GRAMMAR 1

ACTIVITY TITLE FOCUS

1. Scan, Sort, and Earn Verbs and verb tenses 3

2. Linking It Up Verbs and verb phrases 4

3. Listen to Yourself Parts of speech 5

4. Adjective Hunt Adjectives 6

5. Move It On! Adjectives 7

6. Verbs and Pronouns Galore! Verbs and pronouns 8

7. And the Others? Parts of speech 9

8. Probing for Pronouns Pronouns 10

9. Plenty of Prepositions Prepositions 12

10. It’s All in the Family Prepositions 13

11. Seeing Alliteratively Adjectives and nouns 14

12. How Versatile Are These Words? Parts of speech 15

13. Grammar Terms on Parade Parts of speech and phrases 16

14. Parts-of-Speech Magic Square Parts of speech 17

15. Hidden Countries Parts of speech 19

16. Verbally Speaking Verbals 20

17. 25 with 4 Have 2 Parts of speech and vocabulary 21

18. First Names Only Verb tense 23

19. Spelling the Plurals Spelling 24

20. Misspellings Spelling 25

21. Fix Up These 20 Misspellings Spelling 26

22. Grammar and Mechanics Grammar and mechanics 27

23. Three on a Match Sentence construction 28

24. Structuring Sentences Sentence construction and parts of speech 29

25. Where Did the Vowels Go? Parts of speech and spelling 30

26. Sentences—Letter by Letter Sentence construction 32

27. By the Letters Sentence construction and parts of speech 33

28. Sentences, Fragments, Sentences, fragments, and run-ons and Run-ons 34

29. Sentence Stuff Sentence terms 35

SECTION TWO
PLAYING WITH WORDS 37

ACTIVITY TITLE FOCUS

30. Making the Connection Word construction 39

31. Just Say No! Word recognition 40

32. One Wants to Help You! Word recognition 41

33. Mind Your P’s and Q’s Vocabulary 43

34. Find the Right Spot! Word construction 45

35. The Unneeded Letters Are Needed Vocabulary 46

36. Three’s Company Word construction 47

37. Three’s a Charm Word recognition 48

38. How Do 26 Letters Disappear Vocabulary and spelling So Easily? 49

39. Unscrambling the Scrambled Vocabulary and spelling 50

40. A Stately Activity Spelling and geography 51

41. Jumping from Jumble to Jumble Spelling and vocabulary 52

42. Replace Two Vocabulary and spelling 53

43. And Coming in Second Place Is Spelling and vocabulary the Letter . . . 54

44. An Icy Situation Vocabulary 55

45. Days and Months Vocabulary 56

46. Anagram Alley Anagrams 57

47. Making a Compound Elementary Word construction 58

48. The Missing Letter Word recognition and spelling 59

49. The Missing Threesomes Spelling 60

50. Is It Deader Than a Hangnail? Malapropisms 61

51. Did You Wear Your Cashmere Word origins Sweater in April While You Drank Cappuccino? 62

52. Going in Circles Spelling and vocabulary 63

53. Start with It, End with It, Word recognition and Add 3 in Between 64

54. Find the Words Forming words 65

55. Your QU IQ Vocabulary 66

56. SS Vocabulary and spelling 67

57. Just Do It! Vocabulary and spelling 69

58. A+ on These Analogies Analogies 71

SECTION THREE
GETTING SET FOR THE STANDARDS 73

ACTIVITY TITLE FOCUS

59. The Big and Small of It All Synonyms 75

60. Fit to a “T” Vocabulary 76

61. Two Characters in Conflict Literary conflicts 78

62. One Versus the Crowd Literary conflicts 79

63. Working with Quotes Quotes and essays 80

64. Match the Mate Expressions 81

65. Rooting for You with the Roots Word roots 82

66. Missing-Letter Magic Square Spelling 83

67. PI Vocabulary and spelling 84

68. I Spent the Night in the . . . Vocabulary and spelling 86

69. Jam-Packed Synonyms 88

70. Showing What You Mean Vocabulary and writing 89

71. Knowing Ade Is Your Aid Vocabulary 90

72. Hear Our the Eras Homophones 91

73. First and Third Word recognition 92

74. A to Z on Both Sides Synonyms 93

75. Double-Letter Dilemmas Double-letter words 94

76. How Proud! Vocabulary 95

77. Boxing Them In Synonyms 96

78. Our Spell-Check Is Broken Misspellings 98

79. Getting into Topic Sentences Topic sentences 99

80. He and I or Him and Me? Pronoun usage 100

81. Making Sense of These Sentences Cloze method 101

82. Seeing Red Word recognition 103

83. We Had Dessert on the Plane Spellings 105

84. Gas and Oil Vocabulary 106

SECTION FOUR
REALLY WRITING AND REALLY DISCUSSING 109

ACTIVITY TITLE FOCUS

85. Idioms (Part One) Idioms 111

86. Idioms (Part Two) Idioms 112

87. Examining Emily Poetry interpretation 113

88. What Is a Good Book? Literature appreciation 114

89. Where Did It Come From? Creative thinking 115

90. Tell the Story Behind It Creative thinking 116

91. Three Characters Literary interpretation 117

92. Draw the Descriptions Character interpretation 118

93. For Openers (Part One) Literary purpose 119

94. For Openers (Part Two) Literary purpose 120

95. Paraphrasing Power Paraphrasing 121

96. “Funeral Blues” Poetry interpretation 122

97. The Desert Island Poetry interpretation 123

98. Towns Poetry comprehension 124

99. Sensing What Is Going On Sensory images 126

100. You Do Have a Clue! Defining words 128

101. The Author’s Message Literary analysis 129

102. A Purpose to Every Word Literary analysis and Every Sentence 131

103. What Have We Learned? Character analysis 132

104. WR SE QU DI Sentence writing 133

105. Tackling These Tough Topics Supporting opinions 134

106. How Will It Turn Out? Story writing 136

107. Passing It Along Story writing 137

108. I’d Pick . . . Character analysis 138

SECTION FIVE
CRITICAL THINKING IS CRITICAL! 139

ACTIVITY TITLE FOCUS

109. Computerese Associative thinking 141

110. As the Animals Go Expressions 143

111. Grouping Them Associations 144

112. Fighting a Liar: Spoonerisms Spoonerisms 145

113. Broadway Bound Vocabulary and creative thinking 146

114. In Other Words Creative thinking 147

115. Seeing Double Word play 148

116. Literary Characters Character analysis in Other Settings 149

117. Sounds Like a Proverb But … Word play 150

118. A Mixed-Up World Creativity and supporting reasons 151

119. Lucky 13 Word building 153

120. Find the Four and Score Vocabulary and word recognition 154

121. Cause and Effect Critical thinking 155

122. Not Just the Facts Examining factual materials 156

123. Just Because Examining evidence 157

124. Logic Problems Logic and critical thinking 158

125. It’s All in the Name Creative thinking and associative thinking 159

126. R U O-K? Creative word play 161

127. Help! Synonyms 162

128. Wondering What It Means Word play 163

129. Alliterative Slogans Imagination and creativity 165

130. Rhyming Your Time Away Vocabulary and word play 166

131. All in a Line Now! Compound word construction 167

132. Thinking Critically with Words Critical thinking 168

133. More Thinking Critically Critical thinking with Words 169

SECTION SIX
RESEARCHING AND REMEMBERING 171

ACTIVITY TITLE FOCUS

134. And Where Did This One Word origins Come From? (Part One) 173

135. And Where Did This One Word origins Come From? (Part Two) 174

136. And Where Did This One Word origins Come From? (Part Three) 175

137. Famous Young People Biographical research 176

138. Award-Winning Musicians Musical research 177

139. Look It Up (Round One) Research skills and competition 179

140. Look It Up (Round Two) Research skills and competition 180

141. Challenging Quotations Quotations research 181

142. Can You Find It? Research skills 182

143. The Research Proves It Multi-subject research 183

144. Topics Research competition 185

145. Famous People Biographical research 187

146. Louis Is Lost! Geographical research 188

147. The Types of Reading Literary research Materials 189

148. You and Your Surroundings Personal research 190

149. Add Them Up! Numbers research 191

150. Do You Know the U.S.? Geographical and historical research 192

151. Really Researching Research 194

152. What a Year! Historical research 196

153. The Missing Link Word play and research 197

154. Women Writers Literary research 199

155. Literary Hunt Literary research 200

156. By the Numbers General research 201

SECTION SEVEN
YOU ARE SPECIAL 203

ACTIVITY TITLE FOCUS

157. You and a Friend Personal inventory 205

158. What Do Your Answers Tell You? Decision-making 206

159. Connecting Your Thoughts Thought association 207

160. AWay with Words Story writing 208

161. Get Your Head into This Activity Expressions 209

162. Draw and Enjoy Personal inventory 210

163. Your Bedroom Descriptive writing 211

164. Granny and Odlum’s Personal experience writing 213

165. Start the World’s Next Civilization Critical thinking 215

166. Exactly Who Are You? Personal inventory 216

167. How Much Are You Like Personal critical thinking Your Friends and Classmates? 218

168. If I Were . . . Imaginative writing 219

169. Thinking Literarily Literary character evaluations 221

170. What Will the Future Bring? Personal characteristics and evaluations 223

171. How Good Can One Be? Literary character assessments 224

172. What Would They Do? Literary character assessments 225

173. Try These Ten Tough Word play and revision writing Tongue Twisters Today 227

174. Just Dropping In Imagination and evaluations 228

175. Discussing and Deciding Personal inventory and evaluations 230

176. Each Three Will Help You Personal inventory to See (More About Yourself) 231

177. Build the Perfect Person Literary characters and imagination 232

178. Thinking and Writing Imagination and writing 233

179. The Descriptive You Adjectives and personal evaluation 235

180. The Perfect Day Creative writing 236

181. Would You Rather . . . ? Decision making and supportive evidence 237

ANSWER KEY 239

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Jack Umstatter, master English teacher with over 25 years' experience, is a multiple winner of the Teacher of the Year Award. He currently teaches in the Cold Cprings Barbor School District of New York. He is the author of numerous teacher resources, including Grammar Grabbers! (2000), Brain Games! (1996), and Writing Skills Curriculum Library (1999) and other practical teachers resources published by The Center for Applied Research in Education.
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