Openers: World’s Wackiest Tour Guide, by Brent Milleson

Forum: Openers

Date: Thu May 08 2008 14:36

Author: Milleson, Brent <>

Attachment: World_s_Wackiest_Tour_Guide class opener.doc (24576 bytes)

Subject: Brent Milleson’s Opener
Lesson Title – World’s Wackiest Tour Guides

Submitted by Tracey Paramore

Lesson Description:
This lesson is ideal for a history report of a traveling destination. Have you ever been on a tour? You sit in a bus and a tour guide does his spiel into a microphone. He fills you with statistics and facts that you often forget soon after the tour ends. If you were lucky you received a good tour guide, one who didn’t seem to be reading from a prepared speech, but who took the time to make you feel he cared about you. He found ways to make it fun and told you facts in such a way that you would remember even years later. How did he do it? Get ready, the bus leaves in five minutes!

Begin by having students collect facts about the place the tour is to take place. Because this is an imaginary tour, students can even create tours to places in another time period. Next, create some type of vehicle for the tour. Students can go with a bus, but why not a plane, a limo, a spaceship, or a magic carpet? Remember, whatever they choose will allow them a point of view on the place they are touring, so pick something that will offer the best point of view. Next, have them give their vehicle and tour a name. For fun, have them give it a name that might play off the fears of their tourist. Example: “Capsize Karl’s Colorado River Tours.” Either have students write a narrative, a play script or perform this in class.

Begin by having students introduce themselves and their fictional name. Review the safety rules of their vehicle. Make bad jokes about why it’s important to keep their hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times. Tell students to begin their writing or speech with the basic information about the subject. Keep it straight and boring at first, then work on keeping the tourists awake. Ask questions. Give them quizzes. Threaten to kick them off the bus if they don’t get the answer. Create their own methods of keeping them awake. Sing them parody songs that include the research or anything else they can think of.

Funny Tip:
Here is a variation of the normal tour. Create the world’s worst tour guide. What would she or he be like? Maybe the world’s worst tour guide would say things like “On your lift, you’ll see a bunch of furry animals. I have no clue what they are.” On the bus, have a brilliant tourist who constantly corrects and annoys the tour guide. This character can get all their good research into the writing or skit.

Openers: ABC Notes, by Brian Heyman

Forum: Openers
Date: Thu May 08 2008 12:17
Author: Heyman, Brian <>
Subject: Brian’s Opener

My opener was the ABC notetaking idea. This activity can be used to brainstorm ideas, it can be used as a guideline for notetaking for a particular assignment (biography, individual topic, research paper, a reading from a textbook, a reading from a novel, etc…), it can be used for notetaking during a video that the class has to watch or it can be used for anything deemed necessary from the teacher.

This assignment really allows the student the knowledge of how much you expect from them. Sometimes a teacher asks for one page of notes and for some students, a page consists of 30 facts and for others it contains only 5 facts written in large handwriting and in long sentences. With doing one note for each letter of the alphabet, the student knows they will need 26 facts. With that much information, they should be able to have a better understanding of what the topic is about.

For example…
If I were to take notes on myself:
B-Baseball is his favorite sport
E-English educator
G-Grew up in St. Louis
J-Joined Theta Chi fraternity
N-Newspaper editor
R-Rarely eats fruits and vegetables
W-Watches a lot of movies
Y-Younger brother

This assignment allows freedom of the teacher to decide what to do with it.

Openers: Password, by Elizabeth Simon

Forum: Openers
Date: Thu May 08 2008 08:36
Author: Simon, Elizabeth <>
Subject: Password – Vocab

Choose two students to be the contestants. Those two students go to the front of the room and face their classmates. Reveal a secret word – whether you put it on the board or hold up a sign – to everyone but the two students. The rest of the class gives one-word clues that might help the contestants guess the secret word. The two students trying to figure out the word take turns calling on their classmates for clue until one of the students correctly guesses the secret password. The student who guesses the word remains at the front of the classroom while the classmate who gave the final clue replaces the other.

Sample password: Ferocious
Possible clue words: fierce, wild, savage, cruel, brutal…

Openers: Preposition Treasure Map, by Heather McCoy

Forum: Openers
Date: Tue Apr 29 2008 10:57
Author: McCoy, Heather <>
Subject: Heather Romine Preposition Treasure Map

Objectives: The students will use prepositions in writing. The students will create a treasure map with directions.

In order to teach prepositions, give students this project that can be used in real life. I tell students that prepositions are found in directions. Therefore, I ask them to create a treasure make. On the back of the map, they must write directions on how to get to the treasure.

Ex: Start next to the old oak tree. or Walk over the stone bridge.

The students must have at least five steps or directions using five different prepositions.

This is a fun way for them to learn prepositions and using them properly!!!!

Openers: What is in a Name and What is Different? By Megan Tucker

Forum: Openers
Date: Mon Apr 28 2008 19:49
Author: Tucker, Megan <>
Subject: What is the same and what is different?

My opener was about having students practice writing in detail. I would have 4 or 5 objects that were all similar in some way, but also had their own characteristics. I used paper as my commonality and chose to use magazine, newspaper, cardstock, and notebook paper. The student’s job is to write a description of one of those objects by using characteristics of that object, instead of using the common name for that object. This allows students to get more practice with being more descriptive and detailed with their writing so that their readers will understand exactly what the student is trying to say.