Common Sense Review
Updated July 2015

Sleep Furiously

Maze of words makes creating illogical sentences fun
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating
Not Yet Rated
  • Make sentences -- as long or as short as possible.
  • Word board or sentences can be shared via connected social media.
  • A tutorial walks students through how to play the first time they open the app.
  • Compare current score to highest score and see which was the highest scoring sentence.
  • Play in timed mode, moves mode, or endless mode.
Sentences can't be submitted unless they're complete.
Fun wordplay doesn't correlate directly with curriculum.
Bottom Line
Silly sentence creation empowers students to take risks with writing.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

The variety of gameplay choices give kids options for how competitive they want to be. They get to control how fun the experience is with each crazy sentence they create.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

The beauty of Sleep Furiously is that it makes grammatically correct sentences silly and fun. It's not about the content -- the structure is what matters -- so kids are empowered to have fun within proper sentence structure.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 2

Highest scores and highest-scoring sentences are tracked in each round, but it'd be nice to be able to review all the sentences created or get feedback on why an attempted sentence wasn't complete.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Use Sleep Furiously as a warm-up activity before a writing workshop to loosen up writers. It'd work especially well on a day when kids are writing poetry or informal narratives or fiction. Talk to kids as they create their sentences, pointing out structures that may work well in their writing. Another fun activity to encourage sentence variety in student writing is having students mimic the structure of sentences from literature -- students use their own thoughts but copy the structure, phrase for phrase, or clause for clause.

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What's It Like?

Sleep Furiously is a sentence-making game that has nothing to do with sleep. It matches the poetic potential of magnetic poetry with options to add a little individual-best competition. To play, connect words horizontally, diagonally, or vertically to create sentences. There are no rules for how much sense the sentence makes; it just has to be grammatically correct. Longer words earn more points. Play in moves mode, where you get as many points as possible in five sentence moves. Play in timed mode to get as many points as possible in 90 seconds, or play in endless mode just for the challenge of creating the most complex sentences possible. Words can be shuffled in endless mode, but not in the others.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Word lovers will get a thrill out of creating complex sentences with the limitations of available words -- with a time limit, move limit, or no limit; most students will still get a kick out of the silly possibilities. Sentences can be short and profound  ("wisdom teaches," which earns three points) or longer and illogical ("The sick athletes clumsily kiss cowardly metaphors," for 28 points). Unfortunately, it's not clear how the scoring works beyond longer sentences earning more points,  and there's no way to review all the sentences created in a round. Players can see how their score compares with their highest score and see their top-scoring sentence. The grammar grader isn't perfect, however, occasionally not recognizing homonyms that can be used as different parts of speech. There's not a whole lot of educational benefit here, and it doesn't align with curriculum standards. It does give students a chance to play with words, which can build their confidence and potentially improve writing.

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See how teachers are using Sleep Furiously