Kinesthetic Without the Krazy
Although I teach in middle school, many (often most) students are still struggling with 4th and 5th grade conventions of Standard English Common Core Standards.
A quick reminder of the eight parts of speech at the beginning of the year sets the foundation for future grammar conversations and lessons. You can’t talk to students about subjects and verbs (and thus how to recognize a run-on) if they don’t remember what a pronoun is (and so cannot recognize one as a subject) or realize that a verb of being is a verb. This fun, kinesthetic without the krazy Maze is a great way to get students in the grammar mindset.
I love to let students move around when they learn, but I Do NOT love the loud and off task behavior that can come with kinesthetic learning. So here is a kinesthetic lesson without the "Krazy." (Krazy = the potential for any of the following classroom management problems: opting out, letting others do all the work, loud and/or off task behavior, and having more fun than learning.)
This is one of the first Mazes I do every year. The code is half in Spanish to make cracking it a bit more challenging and to make Spanish speakers feel a part of the community. (This also gives these students a chance to shine in an area that can be difficult due to language barriers: English language arts classrooms.)
*This product is a zipped folder with PDF documents.
*The product is editable so you can change wording (i.e. dependent vs. subordinate clause, class vs. period, etc.).
What is The Maze you ask? (For a free Maze, please see Independent vs. Dependent Clauses Kinesthetic Maze.)
In short, the students go into numerous “Mazes” throughout the year. Before our first Maze, we read a section of the book The Maze Runner. (However, you can certainly do the Maze without mentioning the book.)
I normally set up The Maze in the hallway, and students have to crack a code by finding clues on papers taped to the wall. Please note: this is NOT a real maze. The Maze is in their imaginations. In reality, they are in a much scarier place: a middle school hallway.
This is only one of the many kinesthetic Maze lessons I’ve created to motivate middle schoolers.
Give The Maze a try. Your students will thank you for it.
p.s. The first time you run a Maze it can seem intimidating. But the motivational and educational benefits of it are worth the learning curve. I promise.