I will never forget the day that I witnessed just how powerful kinesthetic activities can be for some learners. I had created sentences by writing each word of the sentence on a separate sheet of paper. Before students came in, I moved the words so they were in incorrect order. (For example: DO EAT MEAT YOU ? To my surprise the more advanced writers had more difficulty seeing the solution and moving the sheets into the correct order than some others who had been struggling with writing. So can you think of a way that this same activity could be done using technology? There are certainly more ways than one, but here is one based on a common use of cut and paste.
- Open up a word processor, such as Word. Create a sentence (using capital letters), using a grammatical form that has already been introduced to the class. Depending on your objectives, include punctuation to help guide learners with which type of sentence is being worked on.
- Continue making as many sentences as you wish. Consider having a question with the answer scrambled or just the opposite: the answer correct with the words out of order in the corresponding question.
- Before the lesson, make sure students have had experience with cutting and pasting. (You might want to introduce students to highlighting, clicking on and then dragging words to the correct location.) In this way students are not learning how to use the technology at the same time as trying to reorder words correctly. Having the activity as practice of computing skill is okay but this activity should not be the first time students use cut and paste.
- Share this document with students, whether that is via a dropbox, email or loading it on students’ computers.
- Start this activity by doing the first sentence together with the class, reviewing how to cut and paste (or click and drag) and modeling what you expect. You might want to have students come to the computer to try out the first ones.
- Walk around and see how students are doing. Or if you want to make this game-based, you can have students work in groups and the first group that sends or prints out a complete document wins.
- As an extension activity, have students (in groups or individually) create their own list of sentences. Before these are shared with others, check students’ work.
- As a closer, have students read the correctly ordered sentences aloud in pairs, small groups or the whole class.