We’re firmly in the winter blahs around here so I’ve been brainstorming ways to perk up our HS days. We have HS swimming tomorrow and HS ice skating the next day, but here are some other things that seemed like fun…..
1. Write dictionary stories. Have kids open up the dictionary to random places, close their eyes and point to words. Pick 3-5 words and then write a short, short story (one page or less) using all of the words.
2. Play the stock market. Give the kids $1,000 imaginary dollars to invest in stocks of their choosing. Track their value each day (for as short or long a period of time as you like), either online or in the newspaper. See if they can make a profit. If you like, graph how the stocks did over time.
3. Have the kids write some book reviews for Amazon or Barnes & Noble online.
4. Put on tourism ads. Arm the kids with some geography books and tell them to randomly pick a country or state each and find out some things about the area that would make people want to visit. Have them write up notes on cue cards and then perform commercials to entice tourists with the facts they’ve learned. If you like, videotape it!
5. Reword famous poetry. Give the kids a thesaurus and let them pick a favorite poem each from a book of classic poetry. The assignment– change as many words as possible in the poem to keep the original meaning but completely rewrite it. Example: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet becomes A bloom by any alternate moniker would be scented similarly sugary.
6. Find a little area museum or art gallery to visit. Preferably one you’ve never visited before. Most little local ones are free around here and they love to chat with visitors.
7. Call an area nursing home to see if they’re interested in kids reading to residents (or coming along while you do).
8. Play the ingredient game. This one is good at figuring percentages and teaching nutrition. Take turns grabbing food and drink items and see how many ingredients the other person can name. The person with the highest percentage wins. Example: a can of Mountain Dew has 13 ingredients (not that I would know of course, I wouldn’t possibly have one here on my desk because that stuff is total junk!). You might guess that it has carbonated water, corn syrup, artificial flavor and a couple of other things, but would you guess the brominated vegetable oil? (Yeah, ew.) If you guessed 8 things of the 13, that gives you a 62% guess rate.
9. Start work on a Junior Duck Stamp contest entry.
10. Make Monster Flesh. Be sure to click on why it works to get the science part of the fun!