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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.Continue reading Show less
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.
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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