On Wednesday, I tried this activity with the 5th and 6th grade gifted science class I was subbing for. The teacher asked me if there was any teaching activity I wanted to try with them, especially one that lent itself more to science or history content that I hadn’t been able to use in my Language Arts classroom.
I wrote down a list of key terms from the chapter on gravity and motion on the board (e.g., free fall, gravity, acceleration, mass, air resistance, friction) With older students, especially in a history class, you could have them find the words or phrases themselves. Then they made a tic-tac-toe grid on poster paper and wrote one term in each space. After that we numbered each space and they were to write one sentence that contained 3 terms in a row, either down, across, or diagonal. I actually mapped out the rows and we labeled them A-F. The kids had a good time working out their ideas about each term, sometimes realizing their misconceptions about them, and trying to write a sentence that used them correctly. When they were done, each group presented two of their “harder” sentences. An example: “Aristotle thought that two falling objects of different masses would hit the ground at the same time, but he was wrong.”
I think this is a great activity after students have read content to have them grapple with the ideas and discuss them in a small group. I learned this in a conference session at my university and we tried it with history content. Not sure how I could use this in an English class, but you may be able to adapt it to the plot of a short story or terms of fiction.