The Wright Family

For Middle Level & Elementary • 4-6

Community Level 2 - Familiar

Materials: Small object or piece of candy for each student

How To Play: This is a passing activity that requires the students to stand in a circle, fairly close to one another. Each student is given an object like a pencil or a small piece of candy. Tell them you will be reading them a story about the Wright family, and anytime they hear the word "right" they will pass their object to their right and vice versa for the word "left".

Reflective questions
Begin reading the story to the students. As the story progresses, students realize how difficult it is to continually pass to their right and left quickly while receiving an object in their other hand. When you finish the story, ask some reflective questions such as: "What was fun about this activity?" "What wasn't fun about it?" "How could we improve this activity?" "How did we help each other during the activity?" "What skills did we have to use in order to do this activity?"

Comprehension questions
After this discussion, ask students some comprehension questions such as: "Where was the Wright family going?" "Who didn't go on the vacation with the family?" "What was left in the driveway?" "Why did Tommy have to run back home?" "Who got sick in the car?" See how many students can answer the question. If many of them can't, ask them why? "Why couldn't they remember the details to the story?" Someone might mention that they were busy passing the object around the circle, so they weren't concentrating on the content of the story, just listening for "right" and "left."

A reminder about focused learning
After the discussion, you can tell students that it is very difficult to comprehend a story or conversation when you are doing something else. "When is it necessary to focus all your attention on just one task and not two or three?" When reading, it is hard to understand what you read when you aren't fully engaged in your task. Our understanding of a story/book can be affected if we are not totally engaged in it. There are times when it's fine to talk, and other times when it doesn't help your learning.

In the future, this activity will provide a positive reference for your reminders that when reading they will need to be focused in order to comprehend the book/story.

Life with the Wright Family (story for above activity)

One day the Wright family decided to take a vacation. The first thing they had to decide was who would be left at home since there was not enough room in the Wright family car for all of them. Mr. Wright decided that Aunt Linda Wright would be the one left at home. Of course this made Aunt Linda Wright so mad that she left the house immediately yelling, "It will be a right cold day before I return."

The Wright family now bundled up the children, Tommy Wright, Susan Wright, Timmy Wright and Shelly Wright and got in the car and left. Unfortunately, as they turned out the driveway someone had left a trash can in the street so they had to turn right around and stop the car. They told Tommy Wright to get out of the car and move the trash can so they could get going. Tommy took so long that they almost left him in the street. Once the Wright family got on the road, Mother Wright wondered if she had left the stove on. Father Wright told her not to worry he had checked the stove and she had not left it on. As they turned right at the corner, everyone started to think about other things that they might have left undone.

No need to worry now, they were off on a right fine vacation. When they arrived at the gas station, Father Wright put gas in the car and then discovered that he had left his wallet at home. So Timmy Wright ran home to get the money that was left behind. After Timmy had left, Susan Wright started to feel sick. She left the car saying that she had to throw up. This of course got Mother Wright's attention and she left the car in a hurry. Shelly Wright wanted to watch Susan get sick, so she left the car too. Father Wright was left with Tommy Wright who was playing a game in the backseat.

With all of this going on Father Wright decided that this was not the right time to take a vacation, so he gathered up all of the family and left the gas station as quickly as he could. When he arrived home, he turned left into the driveway and said, "I wish the Wright family had never left the house today!"

Plan for Success: If needed, review which is their left hand and which is their right. Let students know they will not be ending up with the same piece of candy or object which they had at the start of the game.

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