Word Up!

Word Up is an easy, fun warm-up activity that involves everyone equally and contributes to a healthy class dynamic. Before you talk about a particular text or topic, make a story together and establish a baseline of expectation that everyone participates in class discussions, everyone listens, and everyone works together.

2.SL.1: Speaking & Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • 2.SL.1.a: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
  • 2.SL.1.b: Build on others' talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
  • 2.SL.1.c: Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.
Word by word, turn by turn…
2.SL.1.a 1) Have everyone sit or stand in a circle. Establish the rules for the activity: only one person speaks at a time, each person only says one word at a time, and everyone listens.
2) Draw one or two character cards for the group and read aloud what they say.
2.SL.1.b 3) Pick someone to start telling the story. That person (Amy) begins by saying the first word of the story (“The…”).
4) Bob, who is to the left of Amy, continues the story by adding a word (“…pirate…”), and then Carla adds to that (“…had…”), and then Dan (“…an…”), and then Ernie (“…egg…”), and so on.
5) Go around the circle at least once. Include yourself in the activity. 
2.SL.1.c 6) It's easy to extend Word Up by focusing on the words the students are using. For example, after each complete sentence is formed, have students identify verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc.
7) When you finish one round of Word Up, start another!