Wednesday, July 2, 2014

S.C.A.M.P.E.R. for Back-to-School Read-Alouds

If you are not familiar with S.C.A.M.P.E.R. it is an acronym that stands for activities you can do to help increase critical thinking abilities in your students. I've used it with literature, with holidays, with the theme we are doing for the week. If you want some other ideas-Terri over at : has wonderful ideas and even has units available on TPT for them! :)

It stands for: Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify/Magnify, Put to Another Use, Eliminate and Rearrange

Now obviously, I wouldn't do all these activities with each book, I just want to give you an idea of examples of how you could do it. I usually just do one activity for each theme. And some of the books just don't really fit with all the ideas.

1) Substitute another accessory for Pete's "school shoes"-Rockin' in my school ________.
2) Adapt Pete's shoes for another occasion other than school.
3) Modify Pete's shoes for different settings-space shoes, desert shoes, wedding shoes, etc.
4) Another use for shoes-you could plant a plant in a shoe, etc. (I would give them shoe cutouts and a blank piece of paper and let them glue the shoe on where they wanted and decorate around it with their idea)

1) Substitute another creature for the raccoons in the story-what changes?
2) What if Chester was going somewhere else other than school, adapt the good-bye technique for antoher setting.
3) Modify that goodbye technique for maybe Dad or brother/sister-someone else in your family or another character from a book. If you read First Day Jitters-what do you think the teacher's technique for the first day would be? What would Pete the Cat's be (probably something very cool! :).

1) Substitute something else for her dot-how would the story have changed if she had made a different mark on her paper.
2) Combine her dot and the little boy's line at the end-what could they make together?
3) Adapt-adapt her dot for other people-what would Santa Claus' dot look like, a giant's, the principal's, etc.
4) Modify-the dot for different settings-a dot in the Arctic, underwater, etc.
5) What is another use for the dot? Again I'd give them a cutout and let them design around it-it could be the bottom of an exclamation point, etc.

1) Substitute another location for David-what would David at the mall look like? the zoo?
2) Adapt a classroom so that it would be an ideal learning space for David-maybe stain-proof carpet.
3) If you were the teacher, how would you have to modify your instruction because of David?
4) Another use for a paper airplane.
5) Rearrange the classroom so it would become David-proof.

Just some ideas as I start to brainstorm for myself and beginning of the year activities. I looped with my group last year so I feel like it's been forever since I used these books. If you have any other ideas, I'd love to hear them! :)


  1. I have never heard of SCAMPER before. I need to look into this more. Thank you for your post! Your blog design is darling by they way!
    Second Grade is Out of This World!

    1. Oh good, I'm glad it's something you might be able to use.

      Thank you! I LOVE my blog design-it's all Barb over at Ruby Slipper Blog Designs! :)

  2. I've never heard of this, but I love it! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Awesome! Hope you can use it-an easy way to help teach them how to think. :)

  3. I haven't heard of this before, but I LOVE LOVE it. I am presenting to a University group next week and I think I'll use this model.Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. So excited to read more about SCAMPER! Thanks for sharing. I'm always looking for new ways to develop higher level thinking skills with me students. :)

  5. I haven't heard of scamper either, but what a great way to do some extension activities - especially with books I use at the beginning of the year. Thanks for the idea - and some examples. Sara