Yes, I know the Olympics were a few months ago, but we wanted to make the last two days before Thanksgiving break engaging, educational and fun. So, we figured, what better way to do that then add a little friendly competition in an Olympic games format.
We divided the entire grade into four teams, which were countries, and throughout the days they worked as their countries to earn as many points as possible. At the end of the days, we will tell the students the winner, and the winner will receive a prize. Most likely the most popular prize of all to fifth graders, a homework pass!
At each station we reviewed different skills and concepts we have learned during the year so far. Each station involved an Olympic sport or potential Olympic sport and a ton of review of the skills. Also, each station also had the potential to earn the team points.
The stations were as follows: Grammar Golf, Shooting (basketball) for Context Clues, Diving for Details, Aiming for Accuracy (three branches of government), Pinning a Cause for a Striking Effect (bowling-cause and effect), and a Sequencing Relay. The students had a task they had to complete at each station and an activity they had to complete which helped them earn points. The stations lasted about 25 minutes a piece and the students were engaged throughout each one.
The favorite station of all was Grammar Golf. At this station the students had to choose a sentence to diagram from three different levels of difficulty. They really had to think through some of the sentences, if they got it correct, they got to putt to ball for points. They earned points for the sentences they got correct and if they got the putt in. If they didn't get the sentence right, they didn't get any points, and they didn't get to putt.
When reflecting with the students, they expressed how they enjoyed the team work and the activity like basketball, golf, and bowling they got to do at each station. They expressed they loved how "it was like they were learning, but not really learning" and that they had so much fun! Some kiddos even said it was their favorite day ever. I know us teachers had so much fun watching them engage in a variety of activities, and I am so thankful to have two educationally, engaging, and enjoying days for the kids before Thanksgiving.