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Reading: Ages 7-14

Opposites Game

 

Today's Snack: Let's eat some opposites! How about a piping hot Pop-Tart and an ice-cold glass of milk?

 

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Supplies:

Divide students into 2 teams of two to five students each

You will need a scorekeeper - perhaps the leader

Stopwatch or clock with a second hand | Paper and pencil to keep score

Index cards and black marker

Leader should prepare index cards in advance

 

 

 

Here's a quick team game focusing on words that are opposites, and encouraging students to brainstorm examples of each opposite. This is a fun way to build language fluency and fast thinking, and stretch students' elaboration skills and creativity, all of which will help with reading tasks in school.

 

In advance, the leader should print a pair of opposites on each index card with a dark marker pen to make the words very readable. Here is a list of 20. You can probably come up with dozens more:

 

 

 

Cool Embarrassing

 

Hard Soft

 

Tasty Yucky

 

Exciting Boring

 

Tall Short

 

Sharp Blunt

 

Cheap Expensive

 

Humorous Serious

 

Low High

 

Easy Difficult

 

Slow Fast

 

Heavy Light

 

Loud Quiet

 

Hot Cold

 

Wet Dry

 

Dark Light

 

Rough Smooth

 

Dull Shiny

 

Small Large

 

Sweet Sour

 

Once you have the deck of cards prepared, divide up the students into two teams of at least two students per team.

 

If you have a lot of students, you will have to prepare several sets of cards, but you can use the same words in each set if you wish. This is also fun to do again, after a few months have passed and students have forgotten their responses the first time.

 

The players on each team should form a line. Decide with a coin flip which team will go first.

 

Put the deck of cards with the opposite words face down on a table between the two teams.

 

Start keeping time. Each team gets one minute per turn.

 

The first student in the first team's line draws a card and reads the pair of opposites aloud.

 

That player must then name something that would represent one extreme of the opposites. So, for example, if the opposites on the card are "Close Far," the student might say "Close - Table" if there is a table in the room.

 

The scorekeeper should mark one point for that answer.

 

Then the players on that person's team can brainstorm together and list other things that would fit under the word "Close." These would be OTHER things they can think of that fit the definition of "close" that is the opposite of "far."

 

They should say these other words aloud clearly so that the scorekeeper can hear them and give them one point for each additional response that fits. They all have to be things that are close.

 

Examples:

 

Door

Window

Hallway

Principal's office

Sidewalk

House across the street

Mother and daughter

Etc.

 

As soon as the minute is up, the scorekeeper should say, "Time!" and quit tallying, even if the students give additional responses.

 

Now, after a few seconds to get ready, the scorekeeper should start the 60-second time again, and the OTHER team can begin brainstorming and saying aloud words that respond to the opposite word, which in this example is "far."

 

They should say their words aloud clearly for the scorekeeper to tally as many as they can come up with during their 60 seconds.

 

Examples of responses to the word "far":

 

Africa

Australia

India

Grandma's house

The moon

Myself and the Presidency

My chances of making it in the NFL

Etc.

 

It will quickly be apparent that the second team can be using the other team's 60 seconds to brainstorm responses of their own when it's their turn.

 

At the end of the second team's 60 seconds, the scorekeeper should again call "Time!" and tally up both team's points for that round.

 

For the second round, put the "Close/Far" card away. The first student in line of the team that went second gets to pick up the next card as the scorekeeper starts the next 60-second turn.

 

Continue on for as long as you'd like. The team with the most points is declared the winner and should get a privilege, such as getting to choose what to do next, or getting first dibs at snack.

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Reading 2010

 

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