Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Time Fillers

 You never know what you will find when you have to pack up a classroom!

I don't even remember making them, but I have a box full of index cards with questions to spark a quick discussion so we have no time wasted throughout the day. We all have those moments in the day when there are a few minutes until the next activity or lunch, etc.

Discussion Questions:

1) What is similar/different about a pencil and a crayon, dog/cat, table/chair, book/movie?
2) Why do people always say "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence"?
3) If you were a mother/father, what is one thing you would tell your children not to do?
4) Who do you think wrote the nursery rhymes?
5) What makes someone a good friend/teacher/mother/father?
6) If you could ask Martin Luther King, Jr./George Washington, etc. one question, what would it be?
7) Why do people paint?
8) Who do you think invented make-up and why?
9) What are some things we can do to make our hearts healthier?
10) Where does paper come from?
11)Why do kangaroos have pouches?
12) What happened to all the dragons? What would life be like if they still existed today?
13)  How do you think music was invented?
14)  How do you think they make glue?
15)  Who are your heroes? What makes someone a hero?
16)  Why should people go to college?
17) What do you think a fish/tiger/elephant, etc. would say if it could talk?
18)  How do you think radios work?
19)  Why would people want to travel outside the United States?
20) What would be fun about being a mail carrier/vet/police officer/nurse/principal,etc? What would not be
       so fun?
21) Where does water come from?
22) What would trees say if they could talk?
23)  How do keys work?
24) Why should we learn how to read?
25) Why do you think it would be hard to work at the zoo? the circus? the grocery store?
26) How does food get to the grocery store?
27) If you could ask the President of the US any question, what would it be?
28) Why do we have tests?
29) How could you catch a fish without a fishing pole?
30) How would you get across a river if you were walking through the woods and had to cross it?
31) Why do you think bears live in caves?
32) Why do bats sleep upside down?
33) Why do wolves travel in packs?
34) What invention would help make our lives easier?
35) What would you change to make our school better?
36)  How would you fix a hole in the road?
37) Why do you think there are bugs? What would happen if there were no more bugs?
38) Why do sharks usually travel by themselves and not in packs?
39) What is a family? a community?
40) What could we write with if we no longer had pencils or pens?
41) What if you had 5 friends over and only 4 cupcakes to share with them?
42) What do you think french fries are made out of?
43) How do you think toothpaste was invented?
44) Where does night come from?
45) What would happen if dinosaurs were alive again?
46) What would happen if there was never any more rain? (kind of feel like that right now in Texas :)
47) What would happen if there were no more schools?
48) Where do stars come from?
49) Why do people sometimes do bad things?
50) Where do rocks come from?
51) What's the hardest/easiest thing about being a teacher?
52) Why are flowers different colors?
53) How do you think we could make the world more peaceful?
54) How do you think they discovered popcorn?
55) Why can't penguins fly?
56) What would grass say if it could talk?
57) What do you think babies would say?
58) Why do people say "it's raining cats and dogs"?
59) What would computers say if they could talk?
60) Why do fairy tales all have happy endings?
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  1. Thanks so much! My rising G&T 1st grader will enjoy these.
    Also, I will post here to thank you for a book suggestion since our home computer crashed. You suggested that I read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo to my son. Wow! We are 1/2 way through and my son started a vocabulary journal for all the words that he or I did know like ennui:)And also a running list of all of Edward's names. Thanks again for the suggestion.

  2. Oh I'm so glad your kiddo liked it. That was my favorite new discovery this year-I didn't want the story to be over (although every journey must end)!

    What a great idea to keep a journal-very thoughtful.

  3. Holt used a stuffed rabbit to stand in for Edward and has had fun with it, even dressing the rabbit in a dress.

    It has been a blast reading the book to him, he definitely gets the Big Picture. Any suggestions on what else to ask him? We have about 3 more chapters left!
    I saw your post about the book and am unsure if he could handle doing something similar with no previous exposure to the Depth & Complexity icons?

    Thanks again for sharing some wonderful ideas.

  4. How cute!I think he would probably get multiple perspectives. You could compare the different people who had Edward and what their perspective of him was-since they were very different.

    Hmmmm- we did a little theme this year with our chapter books-it was journeys. So we compared Edward with the Wizard of Oz. My kids also loved James and the Giant Peach, Mouse and the Motorcycle and one called Toys Go Out-also pretty thoughtful-about what toys do when we aren't looking.

    Sounds like you guys really have fun with reading-I think that's awesome! :)

  5. Oh I love your suggestion about the different perspectives of the people who "had" Edward! I will let you know how it goes:)

  6. He drew Edward in the middle of the page under water. Than he drew the pocket watch which I was confused about-he wrote 3:00. He also drew Lucy, Bull and the old doll and wrote some pretty interesting snippets. I love that he chose to include the pocket watch not at all what I would have chose and the old doll. I think he truly got a lot from the book:)

  7. Wonderful! You do have a little scholar on your hands. Thank you for keeping us updated! I'm glad he enjoyed the story. Usually by the time we get to the end of a chapter book I'm ready to move on-but this was one I was sad to see end. Thanks again!