Daily Starters: Grades 6–8 Teacher's Guide
- Grades: 6–8
Pique your students' curiosity in fun topics, stimulate discussion in the classroom, and spark creative and persuasive writing with Daily Starters!
Begin the day with Daily Starters, or use them as a transition time activity. You can project Daily Starters on your whiteboard, use them in computer lab, or print a class set and pass them out. Students can do these activities individually or with a partner. Daily Starters can also be used for small group instruction.
These daily activities have several components:
Teachable Moments cover all content areas, including: the visual and performing arts; authors and illustrators; biology; discoveries and inventions; holidays and customs; music; people and places; sports; science; and historical figures and events.
My Morning Journal invites students to write about an aspect of the Teachable Moment. By responding to the prompts in writing, students practice writing explanations, descriptions, and persuasive arguments.
Word of the Day gives students the opportunity to explore academic vocabulary, learn words in context, and learn new meanings for familiar words. Word of the Day also covers idioms, adages, and figurative language. Word of the Day is designed to enrich and expand students' oral and written vocabularies.
Introducing Teachable Moment
- Display the Daily Starter on your whiteboard. After students have read the Teachable Moment silently, invite one of them to read it aloud.
- Discuss the topic, encouraging students to share additional information or insights they might have about it.
Introducing My Morning Journal
- Have students read My Morning Journal silently, reviewing the day's Teachable Moment if needed.
- Invite a student to read My Morning Journal aloud. Discuss the topic as a class, in small groups, or in pairs.
- Give students time to write their responses in journals.
- Invite one or more students to share their journal entries.
- Have students record each day's journal entry on a new page. (See Revisiting My Morning Journal Extension and Enrichment Activity.)
Introducing Word of the Day
- Have students read the Word of the Day silently. Then invite a student to read it aloud.
- Discuss the word in context. Depending on the word, discuss the context clues that help unlock the meaning. As appropriate, discuss other meanings for the word.
- Give students time to compose their own sentences for the target word, phrase, idiom, adage, or figurative language.
- Invite volunteers to share their sentences.
Extension and Enrichment Activities for Grades 6–8 Daily Starters
- Word of the Day Word Wall. Have students illustrate interesting words, phrases, and easily confused or misused words. Display them on a bulletin board for students to refer to when they are writing.
- Did You Know? Make a bulletin board display of Teachable Moment tidbits. Have students find additional facts or details and write them on sticky notes to attach to a Daily Starter Fun Facts bulletin board. Collect them in a class book.
- Teachable Moment Cloze. Expand Teachable Moments to make cloze reading comprehension activities. Leave the first sentence intact. Then replace each fifth or seventh word with a write-on line. Have students work in pairs or groups of three to fill in the missing words.
- All Sorts of Facts. Write Teachable Moment facts on index cards. After a few weeks, have students sort the facts by topic or subject area.
- Teachable Moment Games. Use the facts for Jeopardy, Concentration, or Charades.
- Word of the Day Spelling Bee. Record Word of the Day words on index cards. Use the words for a monthly spelling bee.
- Best of Word of the Day. Encourage students to share their sentences for Word of the Day. Have the class vote on the ones they like best.
- Idiom Illustrations. Invite students to create two-panel cartoons illustration the literal and figurative meaning of favorite idioms.
- Revisiting My Morning Journal. At the end of a one- or two-week period, have students select a journal entry to revisit. Encourage them to edit, expand, or change the entry entirely, to reflect their growing writing skills, life experience, or point of view about the topic.