|junior high school first year||To have students ask and answer, "What's this?"||"What's this?"||40 mins||OHP sheets and markers.|
Make flash cards of a dozen or so animals. It's preferable to draw the animals yourself, because then the cards are in keeping with the rest of the activity. Doubtful pictures of a cat or such also permit a natural progression from, "Yes, it is" to, "No, it isn't." The humour of such pictures is a powerful influence on memory building as well. Go through the cards twice, each time asking, "What's this?". Insist on full sentence replies ("It's a/an ___"). Let the students have a long look at each picture the first time through, but reduce this to a 1/4 second look on the next. Encourage the use of the phrase, "Once more/again, please". It is also a good idea to jumble the card order. As each card is identified, fix it to the board for future reference.
When this ground work is finished, instruct the students to get into their lunch groups and to clear their desks. Pass out one OHP cell which you have marked into 12 sections to each group, along with two marker pens. Tell the students that they are going to have 5 seconds ('go byo') in which to draw the animal you nominate in one of the squares on the cell. Give each group a name, and mark it on the bottom of their cell as you distribute them. Each student gets to draw an animal you nominate in one of the squares before passing the sheet to the next student. It is important that you strictly adhere to the time limit; use a stopwatch and count down the last three seconds. When the final square is filled (it's a good idea to have at least one more animal than there are squares on the cell), collect the cells and ready the OHP. Choose one cell and announce the group who created it. They have the job of asking the question, "What's this?", as well as judging the correctness of the answer ("Yes.., No..."). Cover the entire cell before putting it on the OHP, and then slowly reveal the picture of your choice after the team have asked their question. The remaining students must raise their hands and try to identify the scribble drawing on the screen. Sometimes they are obvious, but sometimes only a few lines and/or dots were drawn. Start off with the more obvious pictures, and gradually select more and more weird pictures. The students enjoy this activity immensely, partly because of the strangeness of the animals they see, and partly because they can see their own artwork on the OHP for the first time.
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