WordGirl's Word of the Week: Countdown

Join WordGirl and be a part of the end of summer countdown!

By Brian Kraker
Aug 27, 2013



WordGirl's Word of the Week: Countdown

Aug 27, 2013

Summer is nearly over, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. Use these final days to plan fun learning activities for your children and help them get their thinking caps on as the school year approaches. So, to celebrate the beginning of a new school year, help keep the learning going with definition dynamo WordGirl’s Word of the Week!

Teach your children that a countdown is the final moments before a significant event and the procedures carried out during this time. Teach your child about their new Word of the Week by counting down the final days of summer and by trying these fun learning activities.

Activity 1: Create your own countdown. There’s no better way to learn this vocabulary word than setting up a personal countdown. Find a major event that will be occurring in the coming weeks. It can be your child’s birthday, an anniversary, or an important milestone, like completing summer camp. Mark the date on the calendar and plan something special for the day. Then, encourage your child to check off each day as the countdown to his own special day!

Activity 2: Decorate a countdown calendar. If you have creative children on your hands, let those artistic juices flow and help them create their own countdown calendar. Start with a large piece of poster board and recreate a calendar for the coming weeks. Then, let your children take over. Encourage them to make the calendar bright and exciting to commemorate the upcoming event. Let them check off dates in creative ways, like using stickers or adding a drawing to note that a day has passed.

Activity 3: Read Holes by Louis Sachar. Teach kids about another kind of countdown with Stanley Yelnats, who is wrongly convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and now is forced to serve time at a juvenile corrections camp in Louis Sachar’s award-winning book, Holes. Learn about the curse put on Stanley’s family and the reason why Stanley is forced to dig holes every day as he counts down his days left at Camp Green Lake.

Activity 4: Write countdown poetry. Help your creative writers learn about countdowns by writing countdown poetry. Let your children pick their preferred poem style, such as rhyming couplets, free verse, or haiku. Then, help them to write about their countdown. Are they excited? Nervous? Encourage your children to try different forms of poetry and then share them at your special event.

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