We have all been there (no matter how long you have taught or how well you have planned a lesson). You have just finished a fantastic lesson. Everything went as planned and the students were highly engaged, but you glance at the clock and you have 5 or maybe 10 minutes left before time to transition to lunch, music, or to exchange classes (if you are departmentalized). Now you think, “What should I do now?” For times like these it is great to have easy time fillers on hand or in your back pocket ready to use. Because I teach reading, writing, and grammar, I am going to share 14 Fabulous Time Fillers for language arts. Of course, at at the top of the list for time fillers in language arts would be independent reading and/or reading aloud to the students. It is so easy to simply say, “Take out your independent reading and read,” but it is also great to have a variety of activities ready to use. Here are 14 time fillers that take only 5 to 10 minutes that will review previously learned concepts, motivate your students to read, or engage your students thinking.
1. Share an idiom and its meaning. Not only is this a great time filler that students will enjoy, but it is a great way to help review a skill that your students need.
2. Call out a word and have students tell the part of speech. You may want to limit the parts of speech to 3 or 4 at a time. For example, you may want to let the students know that the words will be nouns, verbs or adjectives; or they may be verbs, adverbs, conjunctions, or pronouns.
3. Have students write a simple poem such as a haiku or an acrostic poem.
4. Have students to write a sentence containing alliteration. This could be a fun tongue twister.
5. Show a Grammar Rock video from Teacher Tube. Here is the link to the collection.
6. Create and display a partial metaphor or metaphors. Have students complete or make suggestions on how to complete each one. For example:
He was so mad, he was a ____________________. (raging bull, steaming tea kettle)
He was a ________________, hidden by the darkness of the night. (ghost, dark shadow)
As the storm grew worse, the rain turned to ___________________. (rocks pounding on my head)
7. Have students complete the sentences by using personification.
The wind _____________________________________.
The car ______________________________________.
The sun ______________________________________.
9. Watch and listen to a book being read by an actor on Storyline Online. Several of these are over 10 minutes time, so just jot down the time that you get to and finish watching it another day when time allows.
10. Give a book talk about one of your favorite books from your classroom shelf that you think your students will enjoy reading independently. Share the book blurb from the back of the book and why you like the book. Ask your students who wants to read it, and watch the hands go flying up. Pick someone who gets to read it independently. This is a great way to motivate those who are struggling with finding a book for independent reading.
11. Have students to list the alphabet down their paper. Then give them 3 minutest to write one noun that begins with each letter. (ex: apple, bear, cake, dinosaur) You can also do this with verbs or adjectives.
12. Have a quick review of irregular verbs. Write 5-10 irregular verbs on the board. Have students write the past and past participle for each one. For example:
run ran run
sing sang sung
13. Use this free set of cards to review “there, they’re, and their.” This easy activity is a great way to have a quick review of these confusing words.
14. For a quick review of similes, metaphors, and personification, use this fun “Show Me the Card” activity. If you like the free activity above, you’ll love this activity too!
I hope you enjoy these ideas and find a few that will be helpful to you and your kiddos!
Have a blessed day!