I love quirky holidays and celebrations! On January 25th, set your sights on a day filled with National Opposite Day activities. Research done by Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering, and Jane Pollock (2001) have created discussions on the benefits of comparing and contrasting. This concept provides the basis for effective instruction. I have included fun activities to boost students reading and writing skills in the classroom for National Opposite Day while still meeting the demands of your standards.
Read a Walk with Grandpa (found on Big Universe) and create a class list of opposites.
From the publisher,“ A Walk With Grandpa is a Mom's Choice Awards and Gold Recipient. A simple walk in the woods becomes so much more. As Daniela and her grandfather stroll through a peaceful woodland setting, they enjoy the beautiful day and each others’ company. By playing a word game as they walk, they begin to express just how much they mean to each other. The sentiment and love expressed in this story will bring back fond memories for adults and inspire children, as well. Children may want to create their own special language and bond with their extended families after listening to or reading about Daniela and her grandpa. The first half of the story is told in opposites, while the second half is told using synonyms.”
Have students read sentences and create the opposite statements in their notebooks or online writing journal.
Have students design emojis for an opposite mood. Students will love to create posters with their favorite emojis.
Use a guided practice model for students to learn how to complete a Venn diagrams or compare and contrast charts to help students visualize the similarities and differences among a variety of concepts.
A fun activity would be to compare and contrast you as a teacher and a student! Then, have your students compare and contrast either elements or the story or actual characteristics depending on grade level.
Assign two books from Big Universe and have them complete a Venn diagram or a compare and contrast planning sheet.
For older students, I incorporate the idea of compare and contrast essay writing. There’s a terrific model found on the Read, Write, Think website.
Using the concept of comparing and contrasting along with other opposite activities your students will reap many benefits.
- Increased higher order thinking
- Increased comprehension of details
- Increased communication skills
- Increased vocabulary word bank