Leftovers (All Grades)
Author: Vickie Moriarity, Bath County Middle School, Kentucky
Objective: Review concepts learned
Materials and Preparation: Break down a lesson or concept into parts and attach a number to each part. The number signifies how many students will group together when that part is given as a clue. Example:
English - Assign a number to each part of a paragraph such as: groups of 2 for a complete sentence, groups of 3 for a fragment, groups of 4 for a run-on sentence
This could work for any class where you could assign a number to a concept.
Clear a large space in the middle of your room. If working with concepts that are not numbered, write a guide on the board so students know when to group in two's, three's, etc.
Student Grouping: One large group - The students will later group themselves according to clues given.
The Play: I explain first that leftovers in the refrigerator go bad, so it is important to take them out and eat them soon or they will go bad. I then tell students they are all going to pretend to be food. The food in my class is magical. It can walk, but it cannot talk.
The students (foods) walk around the classroom until I say "freeze." The students freeze no matter what they are doing. Then I give a clue. The students SILENTLY get into small groups, with the number of students in each group equivalent to the number associated with the clue.
For example, if the game is for parts of speech (i.e. 2- noun, 3-verb, 4-adjective, 5-adverb, etc.), I would say a sentence such as "The red school was very pretty."
Then I would ask students to get into groups that show what part of speech "red" is. "Red" is an adjective, so students would SILENTLY get into groups of 4.
Once they have the correct answer, the group kneels. Any "leftover" students would go to the refrigerator (a space I designate in the classroom) and wait there for one turn. They MUST be taken out of the refrigerator on the next turn, however. This promotes cooperation and inclusion.
Scoring: No scoring involved. Students like to move around and like to pretend they are different kinds of foods. They also like to pretend to be different types of food and love to freeze. It is very easy to see who understands the concepts and who does not.
Further Play: I use this occasionally to review sentences vs. fragments vs. run-ons, parts of speech, literary terms, and writing process stages. I am sure the game can be converted to any discipline.
Examples: In Math students could figure out story problems and group according to the answer.In social studies, students could group according to country (i.e. 2-United States, 3-Australia, 4-France) and teacher could name off cities and students could group according to correct country.Science - Assign each layer of the atmosphere a number (i.e. 2 - atmosphere, 3- mesosphere, 4- troposphere, etc). Describe each layer and have students group according the correct layer of the atmosphere.
Comments or Variations: I learned this game from an excellent teacher and a great friend, Sarah Zembruski. The activity works very, very well with middle school students.