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Monday, April 17, 2023


ZAP, BOOM, WIGGLE WORMS, AND STARS are all adaptions of a classroom game that your students will love (and learn from) when you've got a few extra minutes.

SKILLS: letters; words; phrase cards; math facts; shapes, etc.

MATERIALS: small can with a smooth edge (such as one from chips,
frosting, etc.), large craft sticks, markers, wrapping paper

DIRECTIONS: Cover the can with paper and write ZAP! on it as shown.

On the bottom of sticks print words or other skills. On several sticks write “ZAP!” Place all the sticks in the can with the words towards the bottom of the can. Have the children sit in a circle. One at a time, children hold the can and pull out a stick and identify the word on it. When a child chooses a stick with “Zap!” on it, they return all their 
sticks to the can. Continue passing the can until there is one person left. 

Hint! If children can’t identify the information on their stick, let them “phone a friend” for the answer.

More! For older students, add sticks that say, “You get two turns.” “Take a peek.” “Loose a turn.” “Skip.”

Write "Boom!" on several sticks and when children choose that stick they jump up and shout, "BOOM!

Write "Wiggle Worms!" on several sticks. Children stand and wiggle like a worm if they pull this stick.

Glue stars to several sticks. If children choose this stick they get to keep it.

*You can also adapt this game for different holidays or units of study. For example, in October you could use skeleton stickers and the children could “shake their bones.” In January glue a snowman and they have to shiver.

Four Corners
Several years ago Ginny McLay told me how she adapted 4 corners for different skills she was working on. She said she wrote skills they needed to practice (sounds, math facts, sight words, etc.) on sticky notes and placed them in a corner in the classroom. She made a second copy on index cards. The kids tiptoed to a corner while the teacher covered her eyes. The teacher then randomly picked an index card and called out that information. If they were in that corner they had to sit down. The game continued as the kids moved to another corner until one student was left.