Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Spicing up Affirmative Informal Commands

I don't know about you all but teaching affirmative informal commands can be kind of...boring. It's a pretty easy concept, but easy to put in the back of your mind & forget to use. 

I always tell my kids it IS a really important concept because IF you ever needed something from someone (whether it's help, a favor, chore, etc) using these commands would help get your point across. 

The kids usually appreciate the easiness of forming commands but sometimes it's just a little boring to teach. What all can you do with it? 

So I decided to spice things up a bit with some hands-on activities. Check them out below: 

1. Charades. You need a simple set of around 35 action cards that are already in command form. Simply divide the class into 2 teams and wah-la, you have your own ready made charade game. It's fun to do on a Friday after everyone has taken their quiz, or a day when the kids get stuck in class a few minutes after the bell. It's usually comical to watch and participate as well. 

2. Team Charades. Do the same concept, except let the kids play on their own within their teams. I let some kids go in the hallway. Give each group around 6 cards, let them play a few minutes, and then switch with the other teams in the class. I sometimes even tell them to go find ANOTHER team and play against them. 

3. Race Against the Clock. Get everyone in your class in a line, set the clock, and see if everyone can complete an action from a card that the teacher shows them. Try to beat the clock. Uh oh, if you don't know have to sit and add 3 seconds to your classes FINAL time. Can the class beat the clock? Hint: I bribe them with a 1/2 point extra credit if they can do it. It really gets them pumped! 

4. Race Teams. Same concept as #3 except this time, instead of racing the clock, the students are racing each other trying to get the cards completed that are laid in front of them. Have the teams face each other for intensity. 

5. Action Train. Easy Peasy - set the cards in a circle on the ground (it should be a pretty big circle), students then stand behind a card (your students should be in a massive circle with a card in front of them). They flip the card, start doing the action, once everyone in the class is DOING their action (Teacher, you'll need to be in the middle watching), then everyone gets to rotate to the right and repeat! Also, instant intervention to help students who don't know the verbs. 

6. Partner Visits. Teaches passes out an action card to each student. Students get up, visit another person, shows their card, the other partner has to do the action, and vice-versa. Then, go find a new partner and repeat. 

The results are endless and it only takes a simple set of action cards. 

I have created a document that shares these games (these are great for days where the copier is broken, sub, field trips, etc.) Along with the directions of the activities, they also include 35 action cards ready to go. The document is editable if you want to add/modify any verbs.

Also, if you want to have your kids complete some written activities using the commands, check out my "Affirmative Informal Command Activity Packet"

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