1. Reading Mini Plays
Scope Magazine often contains short plays which typically take 15 minutes to "perform." Many thanks to Susan Munnier for this suggestion!
2. Journal Writing
Download the following four lists to have a ready supply of over a hundred journal topics:
Journal Topics Encouraging Self Understanding and Clarifying Thoughts and Positions
Topics dealing with various aspects of "who I am, why I'm that way, what I value, and what I believe."
Journal Topics Exploring Relationships Topics dealing with "what I want in a friend, who are my friends, what I expect of friends, and how I relate to family members,teachers, and other significant people in my life."
Journal Topics Prompting Speculation and Viewing from a Different Perspective Topics causing the writer to predict or see things from an unusual perspective. These may be highly creative, such as "describe the events of yesterday from the perspective of your hair."
Academic Journal Topics
Generic starters for the beginning, middle and end of a lesson make writing journal topics that compliment your lesson a cinch.
3. Following Written Directions
Challenge students with read only directions for folding origami figures.
4. Following Oral Directions
Have a student read oral directions to the class which require students to write, draw and or calculate. I'm searching for these. If you know of a URL for some, please let me know!
5. Solving Puzzles
At the Puzzlemaker Web site, you can make eleven different kinds of puzzles, print them out and run off a supply to cover emergencies.
6. Writing Haiku
Give students a short handout on the structure and examples from Haiku Headlines of the Day. Then challenge your class to write a haiku about the day's lesson or a current event. If you have time, have students read them aloud just before the bell, or save that for another day.
7. Using Icebreakers
Use icebreakers to help students get to know one another and to build good feelings within the whole class or on teams.
8. Writing Limericks
As with the haiku, provide a handout containing the structure of a limerick and a few examples of limericks. Then challenge them to write their own.
(Please note: Some of the haiku and limericks on these sites contain material inappropriate for the classroom. )