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Thinking & Reasoning
This activity is an effective teaching tool to reinforce research skills. This is a hands-on, interactive game that can also be used to reinforce concepts taught in other subject areas. I have used it with History, Health and Language arts reviews just by changing the challenge questions to correlate with the subject area of focus. You'll be surprised to see how effectively students learn with this fun, interactive approach.
This is a hands-on activity in researching encyclopedias and other reference materials. Use of the Internet should be limited to two questions in each color category. I usually suggest that the students use their two Internet options for those questions that seem the most difficult to find answers for.
Create one hundred questions that can be answered from reference materials in your library: almanac, dictionary, Guinness, atlas, electronic encyclopedia, and other reference resources. Using one hundred 3 X 5 cards, write one question on each card.
Divide the cards into groups of 25 and color code each group (red, yellow, green and blue). I like to type my questions on labels and color code the font. Color-band the tops of each card coordinating with the font color.
Copy the answers sheets for each team to write their answers on.
Divide the class into four groups and have individual groups work at the same table. Each student selects a question card, locates the answer in the correct reference tool, and records the answer on the corresponding line of the answer sheet (Red #10, Blue #3). When the group has finished answering all the questions for the color they were assigned, they can begin with a new color group of questions.
This activity can be ongoing for as long as four to five weeks, or as short as one class period. The goal is for each table to answer as many of the one hundred questions as possible.
If you wish to reward good work, you can give small prizes (bookmarks, pencils, etc.) to the table or group members completing the most correct answers. If you want to reward individual effort, have each student initial each answer line contributed to the team worksheet. (But, of course, you must tally individual answers!)
57 Games to Play in the Library or Classroom, by Carol k. Lee and Fay Edwards. Upstart Books, 1997. ISBN: 978-1579500146.