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Initiate a school-wide Root Rally
March 1, 2019
Then, Sara and Janell show their students the real power of roots and the generative principle in the game they invented and call Rootle. They saved dozens of plastic caps from 2-liter bottles. Then, they made a template to match the cap size and typed in the root words they wanted to tackle. Using the Microsoft Publisher templates (Word version), they printed, cut, and glued a root word to each bottle cap.
To play the game, student-pairs reach into the container and select 4 root-word caps. They write those roots at the top of the Rootle handout. Then pairs race to generate as many words in the left column as they can that contain one or more of the roots. Students can race against each other–first team to fill up all the lines wins. Or, they can race against the clock–the team with the most points at the end of a time limit wins. (In addition to thinking of the word, the students need to consider how the root impacts the word’s overall meaning and write out its explanation in the second column. If students can determine the meaning of the word on their own, they get two points. If they have to consult a dictionary or thesaurus, then they only earn one point.)
Although you could play Rootle by just assigning roots or using slips of paper, Sara said that her middle schoolers love the tactile nature of the lids. Not only do they tend to move the caps around as they play, trying to visualize new words, they also love the anticipation of drawing out the four lids at the start of the game. Sara described the students’ shaking the container (a recycled baby-wipe bottle) like “shaking the big ball before the lottery balls are drawn.”
With creative ideas like these, who wouldn’t want to start up a Root Rally in their own buildings. Thanks so much for sharing your creativity, ladies!
(NOTE: English language arts teacher Bonnie Dickey at Norwell Middle School (Ossian, IN) coined that phrase, Root Rally.)