Key Elementary, Year One
Bennett – Beth Reeves
Learning Objective/Exit Outcomes:
- Students will be able to identify synonyms of certain vocabulary words.
- Students will engage in collaborative discussion with their peers and teacher.
- Students will practice good theatre skills as audience members of the teacher and each other.
ELAGSE5L5c. Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonyms, antonyms, homographs) to better understand each of the words.
ELAGSE3SL1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
TA3.RE.1 Engage actively and appropriately as an audience member.
- Participate as audience.
ELA & Theatre
- Scrap Paper
PAIR Specialist introduced the game of snowball to the students by having them write their favorite animal on a snowball. As each full table had all their snowballs in their raised fist, sitting silently, PAIR Specialist would go to that table and have the students shoot their snowballs into the basket. Tallying votes, we learned that the most popular favorite animal of the class was a dog!
The teacher then asked students to define what a synonym is to prepare them for our next round of Snowball. The teacher would then call out a word, such as “small.”. Students would then write down a synonym for that word. The students were welcome to write down multiple synonyms. As tables were silent and ready with snowballs in hand, we collected the snowballs in the basket. As we go through snowballs, we group similar ideas together and discuss as a group the answers given, asking questions as they relate to the answers.
The game of Snowball gives us a clear idea on how well students grasp the content without being called out individually. This way, students feel safer answering anonymously, while still learning from the discussion of each group of answers. Should a snowball answer be incorrect, such as “huge” for the given word “small,” you can have students actively helping each other learn by asking why “huge” is not a synonym (a: because it is an antonym) and having students define what an antonym is, furthering their connection of the content while allowing the students who are unsure to try without embarrassment and encouraging students that understand to help others who do not.
To better integrate theatre into the lesson, have students discuss what they should do as an audience for the teacher and PAIR Specialist, as well as their peers giving answers.