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Primary English Activities

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    The Spelling Chain

    • This activity should focus on a theme, such as food, jobs or holidays. Once students sit in a circle, tell them a word related to the theme, such as "carrot," and ask the first student to spell it. When he finishes, the student to his right must say a word related to the theme that begins with the last letter of his word, in this case "t," and spell that. The student could then say "tomato," spell the word, and the third student then names a food related word beginning with "o," such as "orange," and spells it. The chain continues in a circle. To make this activity a competitive game, tell students that misspelling a word or failing to come up with a word means they are "out." The one student who remains at the end is the winner.

    Sentence Race

    • This activity is a fun way to review vocabulary words you've recently covered in class. To play it, give two teams of students an identical set of vocabulary words, with each word on a separate slip of paper. The students can each pick their own slip of paper. When you call a vocabulary word, the two students on either team with that word race to the chalkboard and write a sentence using that word. For an extra challenge, try calling out two words at once, and have two students from each team collaborate with one another to write a sentence using both of the vocabulary words. The team with the most correctly written sentences wins.

    Fantasy Journal

    • Keeping a class journal to write in regularly will help primary students' writing skills, but it can often be monotonous. For a creative approach to working on grammar and punctuation, write a sentence prompt on the board, such as "I am a...." or "One time I...," and ask students how they would normally finish these sentences. (For example, "I am a student.") Next, have them fill in the sentence with something outrageous, such as "I am a pirate" or "One time I rode a dragon." Students copy the sentence into their journals, and then write a one-page story based off the fantasy prompt. Be sure to write all prompts in first person, as it will allow them to put themselves into your strange roles and scenarios and will encourage students to think more critically about them.

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