Saturday, 09 April 2011 17:45

Tip #30: Rock Your Students' World, Part 2: The Synonym-Antonym Jumping Game

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"The Synonym-Antonym Jumping Game" is the second of my 4-part "Rock Your Students' World" series of instructional videos.  I filmed these short videos with five of my former students recently one day after school.  Each Teaching Tip over this four week period will feature one of the videos.


The video series shares its name with a teacher resource book I've written, and my hope is that Rock Your Students’ World will see the light of day in the not-too-distant future.

The book includes over 100 brain-compatible activities and ideas that incorporate movement, music, and storytelling into the classroom.  In this video series the focus is on the first of these components: movement.  

Specifically, the four activities demonstrated in the videos highlight what I call "concept-embedded movement," in which the activity itself features a type of movement that represents, matches, or embodies the meaning of the content students are expected to learn.  Thus, when students move around and participate in the activity, they are actually bringing the content to life.

In this video students learn the concepts of synonyms and antonyms.  Participants begin “The Synonym-Antonym Jumping Game” by facing their partners.  I then announce the “Go” word.  Next, the kids jump up and down on two feet twice, and then stick out one leg.  It’s almost like playing rock-paper-scissors with feet.  If the partners show opposite legs, they think of as many antonyms as possible for the “Go” word.  If they show legs from the same side of their bodies, they brainstorm synonyms.

Assume, for example that the first “Go” word is mean.  The kids then jump once, jump twice, and show their feet.  Those groups showing feet from the same side of their bodies would brainstorm synonyms, such as cruel, rotten, and unkind.  Those groups showing feet from opposite sides of their bodies would brainstorm antonyms, such as friendly, kind, and nice.  I generally give the groups about 30 seconds to think of their synonyms and antonyms before bringing everyone together for a quick whole class share, in which I check for accuracy, reinforce the meaning of the two terms, and compliment those students demonstrating excellent word choice.

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New Teaching Tips appear every Sunday of the school year.