This post builds on ideas presented in an early post about the Vocabulary Tableau activity. It is one of my favorite activities to do in the classroom. There are a couple of variations that are fun to implement that can be used as a way to differentiate or to extend the learning.
- To start the tableau, students could individually, or as a small group, sketch out the definition of the work (or clues to the word and its use). This adds another layer of visualization to increase understanding and connection prior to the actual performance of the tableau itself. An additional variance can involve students sketching the tableaus after they have been completed (or a picture that represents the tableau).
- Another variation can involve a variance of related words, or words that connect in some sort of progression. In this variation, teachers assign groups a word, or term, to work on. Then, the words are performed in order. To add more movement, student can be arranged in groups in the hallway, or outside, to present in tableaus in order one after another.
- Picture of the tableaus can be taken and then viewed via Google Slides during class or at home. These can also be used as short warm-ups for the classroom. Students can refer to the term based on the image and/or they can mimic the tableaus individually or as a group.
- One-Word Performance: In this variance, groups think of one work to perform as they are frozen in their tableau positions. The word could be related to what they are doing in the tableau or to the word itself. Of course, it would not be the word itself.
The initial post can be found at:
I was talking to a colleague recently, and she passed this idea on to me. She observed a classroom where one of the teachers developed a movement activity corresponding with a set of questions and paper airplanes.
Each student was given a math worksheet with four problems. I generalizing, so some of the details may a be a bit hazy, but, overall, the activity is easily modified. Students were divided in half so that each side of the classroom had roughly the same number of students. Teachers could also divide students into groups of four and have students all around the room. Each student worked through the first math problem. This could be done individual or with a partner. After about five minutes working with the problem, the worksheet was folded into a paper
Each student worked through the first math problem. This could be done individual or with a partner. After about five minutes working with the problem, the worksheet was folded into a paper airplane. On the count of three, or when the chime sounded, students threw the airplanes into the middle of the classroom. At the teacher’s signal, students went to the middle and grabbed an airplane. Students unfolded the airplane, made corrections (if needed) to the first problem and then worked on the second problem. This process continued until each problem was answered.
This activity could have easily been completed with students sitting in pairs or groups for four working on each problem and checking for correct answers. Modifying the assignment in this way did not require a lot of planning. The only planning different from seated group work involved making sure students knew how to make a paper airplane. Throughout the activity, students were engaged and motivated to complete the work. Plus, they were activating key areas of the brain academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally.