Summer of Strategies: Kinesthetic Word Webs
Movement is crucial to learning. We must move because the “sit-and-get” method is overused and not as effective as when we have the chance to increase our oxygen intake and shift the activity.
This strategy turns a web graphic organizer into an activity that incorporates movement. With this strategy, teachers provide students with content information on index cards and students create a Kinesthetic Word Web.
- Prior to the start of the lesson, write the lesson’s main topic on an index card. Choose two to five words or phrases related to the main topic and write one word or phrase on each index card. Create multiple sets of index cards so that each student will get one.
- Distribute to each student one of the index cards created prior to the start of the lesson.
- Instruct students to walk around the room looking for words related to the words they have and to the main topic. For example, if studying about weather (main topic), Student A has sunny and he/she finds Student B with snowy, they connect together and continue to find more words.
- Once a group believes they have found all of the words, have students form an outer circle and have the main-topic person stand in the middle. The outer circle of students places one hand on the shoulder of the student with the main topic, creating a Kinesthetic Word Web.
- Repeat this activity, but this time remove some of the main-topic index cards and some of the detail index cards, and replace them with Wild Cards (blank index cards).
- Ask students to find to which group they belong. Those with Wild Cards can join any group by writing a detail on their cards that places them with an appropriate web. Students with Wild Cards must be able to justify their answers.
- Have students share with each group how they decided where they belong and why.
- Debrief with students by discussing questions, such as the following:
- If the main topic was not on an index card, could you still create your own?
- Did you discover any words that could appear in multiple webs?
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