H.O.T.S. Activities for Use With the Classroom Word Wall
(H.O.T.S. = Higher Order Thinking Skills)
Posted by Michelle Stankevicius
on the Teachers.Net Grade Three Mailring
I went to a workshop this summer about the importance of teaching our students HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills).
One activity that I learned is called "List, Group, Label." This activity increases students exposure to vocabulary, forces them to define their rules or categories for their lists and has them working on the skill of classification which is important to learning higher order thinking skills.
Have students study the words on your word wall and make up four different groups of words. Then they read one of their lists aloud. The rest of the students must guess what category the words belong to (or what the rule is for those words). For example, let's say that I read my list of words and they were "...achieving, jumping, running, skipping..." The rest of the class must guess that these are all action words or verbs. Another example might be "...dog, cat, bird, armadillo..." (names of animals).
A "concept wheel" is another graphic organizer you can use to allow students to build meaning for themselves. Draw a circle on a piece of paper. Divide the circle into four parts. Make copies for each student. In the first box, the child writes the word from the word wall that they would like to understand better. In the second box they brainstorm a list of words that they think of when they hear the word in the first box. In the third box is the formal definition of the word (look up in the dictionary or an encyclopedia). The fourth box is the definition in the child's own words. It really goes along with the constructivist theory that children learn best when they "construct" meaning of words on their own.
Click here for a printable copy of the Concept Wheel.
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