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Name of Activity:

Dictionary Dynamo's

Academic content:

Language Arts

Purpose of Activity:

To help students grasp, through physical activity, the concept of alphabetizing.


Knowledge of the skill cues related to the jumping and hopping technique and understanding the process of alphabetizing.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

dictionary labels at the front of the room (A-G, H-M, N-S, T-Z), dictionary/spelling words written on note cards

Physical activity:


Description of Idea

(1) Place students in groups of 5-6.

(2) Place the alphabet labels at the front of the class in the following sequence: A-G, H-M, N-S, T-Z. Instruct students that the labels at the front of the room are similar to the headings in a dictionary.

(3) Using the first letter in your last name, find the category that fits you and jump to that category on 2 feet. Once you find the correct category, then alphabetize yourself with the other students within that group. Alphabetizing must be done while jumping on two feet and WITHOUT TALKING AT ALL!!!

(4) Label the alphabet headings at the front of the room with the same headings from any two pages in the dictionary. Give each student a word that comes from the same page in the dictionary. With students scattered throughout the general space, the students are to jump sideways to the proper alphabet heading and find their proper place in alphabetical order in the line.

(5)After activity #4, have students hold up the dictionary words so that the remainder of the class can see if they are in the correct order.

(6) Use a variety of different jumps and hops: forward, backward, sideways, low level, medium level, soft and large jumps, small hops, different pathways, etc.


-Vary the words and the difficulty of the alphabetizing with each activity.
-Use the spelling words for the week and spell each letter of the word as the students jump or hop in different ways.

Assessment Ideas:

Have the students list the words on a handout for the teacher to check for the correct order. Have the students create their own list of ten words and alphabetize them in order.

Teaching Suggestions:

For additional movement and physical activity, place the categories in the opposite corners of the room.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities

Students with physical disabilities should be able to participate without problems. If needed, other students may need to be paired with a partner to grasp the concept.

Submitted by Debbie Smith who teaches at Clemson University in Clemson, SC. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 12/26/2010.
Viewed 29886 times since 12/1/2010.

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Dictionary Dynamo's

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