Get your highly visual 21st Century GATE Learners up and moving around the classroom, testing their logic, and challenging their descriptive and explanatory writing skills with these two puzzling writing lessons. As always, you’ll extend the Common Core with your GATE group, adding challenge, creativity, critical thinking skills, and fun (!) to the regular classroom curriculum.
This bundle consists of 2 GATE writing lessons which will require around 5 hours of class time . . . plus a fun bonus writing activity idea.
Flow Free Puzzle Matrix: It’s the popular smart phone puzzle transformed into a fun explanatory writing challenge for your classroom. It’s fun and easy to create Flow Free puzzles and fun to share and solve them. Make it an even bigger challenge, though, as your classroom becomes a giant Flow Free grid.
After learning flow puzzles, my advanced literacy groups put their logic, visual-spatial, and explanatory writing skills to the test with flow writing as we transformed the classroom into one big flow puzzle. Students solved each other’s puzzles through written directions and walking around our “classroom puzzles”—picking up subsequent written directions left for them along the way. Our writing task is authentic, made for a real audience, its success tested right in front of the writer. This was a very difficult writing and thinking challenge for my 3rd graders and will be appropriate for 4-6th grade as well.
Imperfect Pictures: In this grid-writing activity, students receive one rectangle of a picture that has been divided into a 16 piece grid. Students put their descriptive writing to the test as they describe in detail what they see in their piece of the grid. Next they put their reading skills to the test as they exchange descriptive passages with another student and attempt to draw what has been described. Finally, our class pieces our drawings together to see how close we came to the original picture.
Classroom Scavenger Hunt: As a bonus fun descriptive writing activity, students write descriptive scavenger hunt clues. While the students are out, the teacher leaves the clues around the classroom. When students return, they become detectives as they find the objects described in the clues.
In this bundle of lessons, you get instructions and samples about how to make a flow puzzle, an explanation and samples of the flow writing activity, templates and explanations used to construct the “imperfect pictures” and an explanation of the in-class scavenger hunt process.