Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
If you’ve been shaking your head over the weather of late and have kids to supervise in school or out, grab your umbrella, sprinkle some seasonal fun with your group and get ready to play Spin the Weather.
Too rainy for real outside today? Suffering from extreme heat? Wishing for summer as winter begins? No matter where you are in the world, your K – 5 students, campers or program participants will be sunny-side up with this attention-getting game.
Games and sports are #15 of what I call The FAB 15 A-GEs – Attention-getting elements that can benefit teachers and other professionals who work with children. Attention-getting elements support classroom management objectives and curriculum.
A quick review…to date attentionology posts have explored fourteen of the FAB 15 elements…
…1) attracting appearance & presence 2) enthusiasm 3) voice 4) eye-catching visuals 5) word choice 6) color 7) music 8) entertainment 9) interaction 10) humor 11) surprise 12) dramatic movement 13) imagination 14) puppetry & personification.
Let the games begin!
Spin the Weather lets players choose (with imagination) what they want the weather to be today. It’s easy to prepare and play.
Materials You Need for the Game:
- A brightly colored umbrella
- A large bag with a sign that reads Meteorologist’s Bag taped or stapled to it
- Cardstock cut outs of weather images, including sun, clouds, rain, snow, etc. (available in teacher supply stores and some dollar stores) placed in the bag
- Small paper cut outs of the sun (and/or other weather images you choose) to give as game prizes, hidden in the bag
How to Play…Spin the Weather!
- Set the Meteorologist’s Bag on a table in front of your group.
- Stand and open the umbrella with dramatic flair and announce that it’s time to play Spin the Weather.
- Explain that you’ll start the game and then call on volunteers to serve as Meteorologist of the Moment.
- Ask kids to raise their hands if they wish the weather outside would change. Optional: Lead a short discussion about recent weather in your community. Offer age-appropriate stats such as “June that just ended in our area is going on record as the wettest June in history!”
- Spin the umbrella and grab a giant paper sun from the Meteorologist’s Bag.
- Hold it up and wave it as if to make it shine on everyone present.
- Invite kids to join in a song about the sun, like the ‘ole timey American tune, “Let the sun shine in.” credited to Charles H. Gabriel (1856-1932).
- Invite younger children to raise their arms above their heads to form a circle that’s the shape of the sun. Optional: Take the opportunity to remind kids about the importance of wearing sunscreen outdoors.
- Ask kids to tell what they love to do most in the sun.
- Choose the next “Meteorologist” and repeat the game steps with instructions to student volunteers to select different weather images.
- At the close of the game tell the group that you have a surprise. Ask students to be “Meteorologist Assistants” and distribute paper weather image prizes you’ve hidden in the bag.
Invite kids to enjoy other simple games…
Beach Boogie Island – Turn your umbrella from the spin game described above into a beach umbrella! How to play?
- Bring in (or invite kids to do the same) some beach towels.
- Hang a cardboard cut-out sun above the umbrella and make a sign that reads “Beach Readers’ Island.”
- Lean the umbrella against a shelf in your Reading Center or a table in one corner of the classroom.
- Invite students to choose a book and towel and find a spot to read for a while. You may need to set a time limit on Beach Readers’ Island and have kids take turns there. After all, it’s not good to be in the sun too long anyway!
- Optional: Give this activity some extra science curriculum punch by selecting books that relate to the beach. For example, fifth graders may study beach erosion while they stretch out on Beach Boogie Island.
Play You Choose Day at Discovery Cafe – Invite students to dive into Discovery Place by setting up a table covered with items, like small rocks and leaves, that kids can use with supplies like recycled cardboard, scissors and crayons to create their own mini science museums.
Ready, Set, Scavenger Hunt – Scavenger Hunts don’t need to just be outdoor fun. How to play?
- Leave copies of a short “find” list on a table with a sign that reads Scavenger Hunt Central.
- Kids that want to participate can search for items on the list during your game time.
- Offer small prizes to students that scavenge best.
Fish for Focus Fish! – This game is a variation on the fishing game that’s been enjoyed for generations. It’s easy to set up and simple to play. Here’s how:
- Cut out large colored paper fish shapes and using a dark marker, write “Focus Fish” in the body center of each one.
- Punch large holes (the size of a quarter) in the middle of the fish heads.
- Find several thin tree branches to use as fishing poles or buy plastic poles at the dollar store.
- If needed, tie string to the poles.
- Attach paper clips to the bottoms of the string lines and open the clips to serve as hooks.
- Drop the paper fish into a plastic bucket (no water) and have the poles at the ready for students to “go fishing.”
- Give each player a miniature fishing pole with a string attached to one end along with a magnet.
- Lucky anglers watch with delight as their line hooks to a magnetized plastic fish in the bucket. Caught – a fish, a prize and a reminder of the importance of staying focused on any task at hand!
The prize for the teacher is a classroom full of attentive kids “hooked” and ready to look, listen and learn.
Creative teachers can add a game element to almost any activity. Games engage kids with entertaining and educational elements. So, when the weather outdoors is uncooperative with your program plans, gather your group together and spin the weather indoors into what you want it to be.
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Stop by for a sporty Wednesday visit with Mid-Week Focus.
Talk with you soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet