The other day, I was in the middle of a very well planned therapy session with some 3rd graders. We were using Nicole Allison's Nonfiction Fall Texts - the one about spiders, in fact. We had read the passage and were in the process of answering the questions. I happened to ask whether one of the words in the passage was a noun or a verb. I was met with blank stares. Now, that's not to say they don't know what a noun or a verb is. But at that very moment, I got nada. We were at a fork in the "therapy path." I'm being dramatic.
I decided to forgo my plans and focus instead on nouns and verbs. I told the students to stand up, put their chairs against the wall, and stand in front of them. I said I was going to give them a word. They had to decide if it was a noun or a verb.
"If it's a verb - an action - raise your hand."
"If it's a noun - a person, place, or thing - sit down."
And a "game" was born. I wrote their names on the whiteboard and said I'd give a point to the students who got it right. I also told them they had to close their eyes when I gave the word to reduce the chances of them simply following the lead of someone else.
So it went like that! They were engaged and liked earning the points. Plus, anyone that walked by the room probably heard me chanting, "IF IT'S A NOUN, SIT DOWN" several times...
When have YOU been at the fork in the "therapy path" and decided to change courses?
P.S. Nicole Allison's Nonfiction Texts are awesome in case you're wondering! I plan to return to the regularly scheduled therapy sessions next week. :)