Thursday, August 24, 2023

Finding Categories Everywhere

This summer I became addicted to the New York Times' new Connections puzzle. I enjoyed each morning tackling this often-tricky categorization activity and comparing results (or sometimes providing or receiving hints) with my husband. I've always thought of categorization as one of the most important skills--it's how we organize information, and much expository text takes on a list structure--and our literature backs this up. Approaches like the EET also use Green-Group to target describing by category, among other attributes. We can be explicit with our students (see Ukrainetz' helpful RISE acronym) and teach that categories are important ways to organize and describe words and information. 

ABCYa provides a wealth of categories through its activities- you just have to look for them. 

Take Dress for the Weather- here you've got an engaging activity which contains both weather conditions and clothing items. Take screenshots of relevant items and paste into Jamboard and you've got a followup sort for repetition of the concept, category and skill. 

You can practice contextualized language intervention by locating a narrative picture book about weather, dogs and weather, or weather and clothing and target another skill within the same topic. 

Here's five more categories you can target with ABCYa:

Bandemonium: musical instruments
Find the technology: electronic devices
Make a House: Parts of a house, building materials
Seasonal Shuffle: seasons, months

I'm sure you can identify many more opportunities from this site.

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