Apples & Oranges! is a ready-made, easy to assemble, and fun to use resource that can be ready to use in less than twenty minutes. These features provide you with a learning center activity that can be prepared with a minimal amount of time and effort. As a teacher myself, I understand the value of this.
The first pages of this packet introduce the game concept, rules, and the individual skills associated with it. The latter part contains the actual game materials. The can labels and game rules should be printed on regular copy paper while the game cards are designed to be printed onto card stock. The two types of paper ensure ease of use and durability for extended use.
There are three types of cards included in this game. Two-thirds of the cards are skill cards that students have to respond to and address the specified Common Core Standard. Along with the skills cards are the occasional cards with two lemons on them which cause the player to forfeit his or her cards to the discard pile. Apples & Oranges! also has a card with a picture of an apple and an orange on it which, if drawn, is retained until the next lemon card is drawn. The apple and orange card and the lemon card go into the discard pile, but the player keeps his or her cards. Play continues until either the set amount of time is over or all of the cards have been drawn.
The concept for BANG! and the other activities available from Common Core in a Can! have been around for many years. These highly motivational activities utilize an empty container, which would typically be discarded, filled with game cards that review a previously taught skill or concept. The object of the game is simply to draw out skill cards and avoid the “BANG!” cards which result in the player losing all of his or her game cards. If a student is unable to correctly respond to the skill card, the card is returned to the can. Over the past eighteen years, I have developed variations of this game that can be used in nearly every subject area. Because it is not technology-based, activities of this nature appeal to students and encourage actual student-to-student interaction. The hands-on, interactive components of these activities are also supported by current brain research and promote more efficient assimilation of concepts and effective retrieval of information from long- and short-term memory.
This Apples & Oranges activity may seem like a very simplistic activity at first glance, but many of our students have had limited practice with the concept of comparing and contrasting. The Common Core ELA standards require students to think more deeply than merely telling how things are alike and how they are different. These standards require in-depth responses. To that end, many of the comparisons required in this activity are more nuanced and require deeper thought than a cursory, surface response. While the comparisons presented on the cards may appear simple, students are presented with the challenge of digging deeper for a response and, thus, practicing the skills necessary to be successful with the compare and contrast activities found in the literacy standards.
This game is part of a collection of grade level activities published as Common Core In a Can: Get More BANG! Out of the Standards! Kindergarten English Language Arts Activities Vol. 1. This volume contains six grade level skill activities that are specifically designed to address the Common Core State Standards. The kindergarten English language arts skills addressed within this book include: basic verbs and shades of meaning, comparing and contrasting, letter recognition, consonant/vowel sounds, and kindergarten sight words. The kindergarten math skills addressed within this book include: number sense, numeral recognition, sequential numbers, and counting & comparing objects up to 20. It is available at https://www.createspace.com/5612573.