Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
No time to spare at the start of a summer camp session (Northern Hemisphere) or winter school day (Southern Hemisphere)?
Offer up a quick game of Opposites Attract to attract attention and set kids on the right track.
Kids appreciate hot stuff and cool stuff – day starters that lead them to focus on learning activities. Why?
More than one answer: A game is fast and fun and can be played in no particular order and for any length of time.
A game of Opposites Attract only needs a leader who calls out catchy questions and a group of kids to answer.
Ready, set, play what you like…
Upside Down Opposite of a Frown – Announce to your group that the day starter is a game of Opposites Attract.
Hold up a bright pink paper with a curved line that looks like a smile.
Ask the class what is the opposite of a smile.
Of course…it’s a frown.
Now turn the paper upside down to show a frown.
Ask if the class can see that a smile is a frown turned upside down.
Flip the page again to bring the smile back.
Hot Stuff, Cool Stuff – Opposite Colors of the World – Invite kids to call out the answer to this question…“Is pink a hot color or a cool color?”
Pink is hot, is it not?
Ask what’s an opposite cool color.
Grey is a mix of white and black. Pink is a mix of white and red.
How else can you play Opposites Attract?
Play a game of opposite seasons.
‘Tis the Season to be Opposite – At the start of a camp or school class, ask a “no-brainer” question, “What season are we in?
Hold up a picture that depicts a summer flower, like the sunflower painted by American artist, Georgia O’Keefe.
Ask what may be seen on the ground in the opposite season – wintertime, when flowers do not abound.
Answer: ice and snow.
Share a poem (see below) from the season that you are enjoying now, or the opposite season coming ahead.
Ask the class to listen for hot stuff or cool stuff as you instruct them to get quiet for the reading of a poem to start the day.
Summer by Rachel Field
In the morning, very early,
That’s the time I love to go
Barefoot where the fern grows curly
And grass is cool between each toe,
On a summer morning, O!
On a summer morning!
That is when the birds go by
Up the sunny slopes of air,
And each rose has a butterfly
Or a golden bee to wear;
And I am glad in every toe –
Such a summer morning – O!
Such a summer morning!
Ask what words convey hot stuff in this poem?
Answers: The word summer throughout the poem and Line # 8 – Up the sunny slopes of air
Opposites Attract – Which Attracts More…Being Free or Being Bundled up Tight? – Start a day by explaining that words can paint pictures that we can almost reach out and feel.
Whether winter is the season you are in or the opposite season of the weather outside, share the first and third stanzas of a poem by Jack Prelutsky that express the bundled up feeling of winter.
My Mother’s Got Me Bundled Up
My mother’s got me bundled up
in tons of winter clothes,
you could not recognize me
if I did not have a nose.
I’d wear much less, but she’d get mad
if I dared disobey her,
so I stay wrapped from head to toe
in layer after layer.
My mittens are enormous
and my coat weighs more than me,
my woolen hat and ski mask
make it difficult to see.
It’s hard to move, and when I try
I waddle, then I flop,
I’m the living, breathing model
of a walking clothing shop.
What’s Your Opposite Sports Report? – Play a quick name that sport game with kids.
Challenge your group to name a winter sport and a sport played in the opposite season – summer – that both begin with the letter S.
Answers: Skiing and Swimming
Some kids may think of more; let the game continue.
What’s Hot, What’s Not? Opposite Behaviors – Any time a group of children gather in one place there’s the potential for bullying.
Sometimes, even the smallest bully-like gesture can hurt another child.
It never hurts to remind kids that bullying is the opposite of what you’re looking for…kindness, treating others with care and respect.
Play What’s Hot, What’s Not? by calling out this quick question as a day starter.
Kids will likely come up with answers that are totally unrelated to anti-bullying reminders.
Guide the game by announcing that you’re looking for answers that have to do with how we treat each other with actions and words.
Opposites Attract Worldwide – Fast-paced games that center around naming opposites attract attention and entertain children around the world.
Please send comments about games you play with instructional ties.
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting.
Talk with you again soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet