I offer two homeschool book clubs, both based on the Illinois Readers’ Choice Awards. The younger students read books from the Bluestem list, and the older students read from the Caudill list. Recently, I was struggling to create engaging and fun book-based activites that would work in a virtual setting. My niece, Amanda, came to the rescue! Amanda is a brand-new (and, proud aunt brag, fantastic!) elementary school teacher and had created a cool activity for her students. She graciously shared the idea with me. I’ve now adapted it into multiple versions. Each time my homeschool students have said things like, “This is the coolest thing ever!” and “Can we do this again next week?”
First, I created slideshows in Canva, which makes everything look amazing. I would then be able to share my screen while the students did the activity. I told students in advance to have pencil, paper, dice, and a calculator. Each activity is based on chance, choice, AND mathematics. (Note: The financial information and situations I present are more for ease of calculation and fun than to represent realistic scenarios.)
After reading and discussing The Unstoppable Garrett Morgan: Inventor, Entrepreneur, Hero by Joan DiCicco and illustrated by Ebony Glenn, I presented my Invention Game.
The students loved drawing their inventions, having choices on some slides, and having random things happen to them on other slides.
Road Trip Game
With the older students, we don’t have enough time to read the whole book, so I do a Thursday version of “First Chapter Fridays.” I’ll read the first chapter, or first few chapters, and then we dive into an activity based on the book. After introducing them to Clean Getaway by Nic Stone, I thought a road trip version of the dice/math game would work well. (The road trip game was what my niece had originally created, so I used hers for inspiration and made it my own!)
Because the students had had so much fun doing the Road Trip game during Homeschool Book Club, I decided to create this version (again, based on a game my niece had created) for our virtual Homeschool Hangout. It was just as popular as the Road Trip game!
I love these games because they are infinitely adaptable. Change the topic. Make the math easier or harder. Make them more about math and less about chance or vice versa. I hope you get inspired just like I did, all thanks to my niece!
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group and III. Programming Skills.