This game is based on a popular box game. To start the game, the group leader chooses a word for which no student will know the meaning. The group leader writes the word on the chalkboard and writes the definition of the word on a sheet of paper from a small pad or piece of paper.
Then the group leader hands a sheet from the same pad or same type of paper to each student. Each student must write on that sheet his or her name and a made-up definition of the word. The group leader collects all the definitions.
One by one, the group leader reads the definitions. Students consider each definition. Then, as the leader rereads them, the students vote for the definition that they believe is the real meaning of the word. Students earn a point if they guess the definition correctly; they also earn a point each time another student selects their (fake) definition as the true meaning of the word.
The person with the most points at the end of the game wins.
The Alphabet Game
Before the game, prepare a list of spelling words to use in the game. You might include words at a variety of levels of difficulty. Assign a "point value" to each word based on its difficulty.
Organize students into groups, and provide each group with a set of 26 alphabet cards, one letter to a card.
Students deal the deck of alphabet cards among the members of their group. They deal the cards until they are gone; that might mean that some students in the group will have one more card than others have.
Tell students you will call out a spelling word. The first group to spell the word correctly will earn the number of points assigned to that word.
Call out a word and its point value, and have students use their letters to spell the word.
The group that has the most points when time is up wins the game.
Builds sequence and word recognition skills – Focus students on a particular story or chapter of a text. Select a "mystery word" from the selected text, write that word on a piece of paper, and give students a clue about the word's location in the text. For example, say, “I am thinking of a word on page 63”. Students take turns asking yes-or-no questions that will help them zero in on the correct word. For example, the first student might ask, “Does it come after the word "time" on that page? Or is it before the word "special"?” Your responses will help students zero in on the possibilities. Each student, at the start of his or her turn, has the opportunity to guess the word. If the guess is correct, that student earns a point and a new word is selected. If the child's guess is incorrect, he or she is out of the game until the next round. After students have learned the rules of this game, they can play it on their own in small groups. In small groups, each student plays a more active role in the game.
Traditional Rumplestiltskin – Reader’s Theater
Narrator: Once upon a time, a poor woodcutter lived in a dilapidated old hut with his beautiful daughter, Amelora.
Woodcutter: Amelora, you grow lovelier every day. How could I have been so blessed as to have you for a daughter?
Amelora: Oh, Father. It is I who am blessed to have such a kind and loving father as you.
Narrator: One day, the woodcutter went into the village to sell his sticks of firewood when he met a friend selling milk.
Woodcutter: Hello, Farmer Alvin. How goes it?
Farmer Alvin: Fairly good. How are you and your lovely daughter, Amelora? Have you decided to let me marry her?
Woodcutter: She will marry the better of you, my friend. She is worth her weight in gold. She can even make straw into gold!
Farmer Alvin: Gold, eh? I hear the king is interested in gold.
Woodcutter: ’Tis a golden touch, she has!
Narrator: Not long after this, Farmer Alvin took a load of milk to the king.
King: Here is a gold nugget for your milk. Ah, gold. I hate to part with it....
Farmer Alvin: I hear there is a girl in the village who can spin straw into gold.
King: Spin straw into gold! Indeed?
Farmer Alvin: Would I lie to His Majesty?
King: What would be her name?
Farmer Alvin: Amelora, the daughter of the poor woodcutter.
King: Guards, bring this Amelora to me! Waste no time!
Narrator: The guards did as they were told and Amelora, wearing her loveliest cape, spun from golden flax, was brought before the king.
Amelora: Your Highness, I can do many things, but to...
King: Enough of this talk, follow me!
Amelora: But, your Highness...
(Footsteps, door creaks)
Narrator: The king led the girl up a winding staircase to the top room of the castle. There, he gestured to a pile of straw filling half of the room and a small lonely spinning wheel in the corner.
Amelora: Your Highness, I really don’t think I can...
King: Silence! Spin this straw into gold before the sun rises or you will die!
Amelora: Gasp! (Footsteps, door slams followed by a girl crying, sobbing)
Narrator: Amelora sat on a stool, crying helplessly, for she had no idea how to make gold from straw. Suddenly, the door swung open and an odd little man no taller than her knees appeared.
Amelora: (Honks, Sniffs) Wh--wh-who are you?
Rumpelstiltskin: Never mind WHO I am. What will you give me to spin this straw into gold?
Amelora: I am but a poor woodcutter’s daughter. I have little, but I will gladly give you my necklace.
Narrator: The little man took the necklace and set to work at the spinning wheel. By morning, piles of spun gold lay where, hours before, there was nothing but straw. When the greedy king saw it, he was overjoyed.
King: Ah! Amelora, my dear! I am indeed pleased. So pleased that I will give you another pile of straw to spin me more gold!
Amelora: What a creep...
Narrator: Fortunately, the king was busy ordering more straw be brought into the small room and didn’t hear Amelora’s last crack.
Narrator: Again, Amelora began to weep. (Weeping sounds) And again, the door opened and in came the strange little man.
Amelora: It’s you.
Rumpelstiltskin: What will you give me this time?
Amelora: I have this ring that my mother gave me before she died.
Narrator: He sat down and began to spin the straw. By sunrise, the room was again filled with spun gold. Again, the king was delighted. And again, he ordered more straw.
King: Amelora, if you will spin this straw into gold, in the morning, I will marry you and make you my queen.
Amelora: Just what I always wanted... to be Queen McStingy!
Narrator: Luckily, the king didn’t hear that either. He hurried away just before the little man appeared.
Rumpelstiltskin: What will you give me this time?
Amelora: I’ve nothing left to give.
Rumpelstiltskin: Then, you shall give me your first child when you are queen.
Amelora: I have no choice...I promise...
Narrator: The next morning, the straw was gold and the king married the woodcutter’s daughter. A year later, the happy queen had a baby boy and had forgotten all about her promise when Rumpelstiltskin came to claim her baby.
Amelora: Oh, please, I beg you. Do not take my baby from me!
Rumpelstiltskin: If you can guess my name within three days, I will not take your baby boy. If you cannot guess my name in three days, the child will be mine.
Narrator: All night the queen thought of names, hoping one of them would free her from her promise. The next morning, the little man appeared, and Amelora began to try the names.
Amelora: Is your name John? James? William? Ralph? Ben? Charles? Adam? Rudolph? Richard? Claude? Timothy? Shannanook?
Narrator: With each name, the little man shook his head no.
Rumpelstiltskin: None of those is my name.
Narrator: On the second day, she tried even more names.
Narrator:That night, one of the queen’s messengers came with news of a strange sight.
Messenger (Out of breath) My queen, I was riding through the forest and caught sight of a fire. I approached and saw an odd little man dancing around a campfire.
Amelora: Quickly, Sir. What else did you see? What did you hear?
Messenger: While he danced, he sang a little song: “Today, I dance, tomorrow I brew. Then, dear prince, I come for you. None can guess, none can claim that Rumpelstiltskin is my name.”
Narrator: That night the little man came calling.
Rumpelstiltskin: What is my name?
Amelora: Is it Peter?
Rumpelstiltskin: It is not!
Amelora: Is it Vincent?
Rumpelstiltskin: It is not!
Amelora: Then, it must be Rumpelstiltskin! Rumpelstiltskin is your name!
Rumpelstiltskin: Oh, No! You guessed my name! (Screams) (Stomps his feet)
Narrator: And, with that, the little man jumped out the castle window and was never seen again.
Builds skimming and visual recognition skills – Choose a section of text appropriate for students' ages. (The text might be a paragraph, a page, or more.) Provide students with a piece of scrap paper. Write four words on a chalkboard or chart; three of the words should come directly from the text; the fourth word should not appear in the text. As soon as the four words are revealed, have students skim the text, looking for the four words. When they know which word does not appear in the text, they write it on their papers and put down their pencils to signal they are done. How many students found the correct word?
Tales with a Twist
Students review a familiar fairy tale and
select a character to "interview."
write original news stories from the perspective of the character.
c reate an illustration to accompany the article.
July 2008 Activity ideas obtained from ACES staff and public domain materials