Laura is a genius. Well, she'd have to be to wind up with a guy like me. Anyway, she is a fountain of good teaching ideas. Her latest wholly-original, gloriously-simple yet highly successful activity is called the Category Game.

It's another all-purpose solution to "anything ok".

Expect to fill 20-25 mins including explanation and wrapping up. Can work with all JHS grades with some tweaking.

The name may well be the most complicated part. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Make about 12 different categories (like sports, animals etc) and put them in an envelope. You will need one numbered envelope for each group (~4 students each), but don't give them out.
  2. Give each group a dictionary or two
  3. One student from each group must come to the front and take a category from his/her group's envelope
  4. Challenge them to find five words for each category as fast as possible (e.g. bear, duck etc for animals)
  5. When they have five words, they must bring their sheet to you for your approval. If it's okay, they take another category
  6. The winning group is the one with the most succesfully completed categories at the end of the game (set a time limit of 10-15 mins)
They react surprisingly well for something so simple. You can use this with any grade if you tailor the categories to their ability. Here's a set for second graders (remember to download it to display correctly).

As always, you can use this for free, but please don't repost it anywhere else (linking back here is fine, though!)

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