Week 2 Learning Center For Grades 5–8: Daily ELA Learning Activities

Day 1: Expanding vocabulary

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Self-guided activity:

1. Create a vocab square (printable option).

Use a vocab square with Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day. Then at the end of each week, use all of the words of the day in a short story or paragraph.

Family fun activity:

1. Quiz your family on the new vocabulary words you’ve learned from the Word of the Day.

Think of rewards and consequences for your family if they get the word meanings right or wrong.

Day 2: Taking notes

Self-guided activity:

1. Take notes while watching a video.

WATCH: Types Of Hooks

 

 

While watching the “Types of Hooks” video, use these guided notes to take notes about it. If you don't have a printer, copy down some of the prompts from the guided notes onto a piece of paper or computer document.

2. Now take notes about the information in this video (using some of the guided notes prompts from above).

Family time activity:

1. Ask a family member about their favorite “hooks” in songs.

Although a hook in a song may not come at the beginning, this is still what “hooks” the listener in and makes them want more. Listen to a couple of songs together, and see if you all can identify the hook together.

Day 3: Writing

Self-guided activity:

1. Write an intro paragraph for an argumentative essay. 

  • Watch this video about argumentative essays.

WATCH: Learn More About Writing Argumentative Essays

 

Family time activity:

1. Discuss times of uncertainty that your parents or grandparents have experienced.

How did they deal with this event or time period? Write an essay together about their experiences in the Thesaurus.com Writing Tool. What is the argument in this essay?

Day 4: Finding the main idea

Self-guided activity:

1. Find the main idea (or the author’s purpose) in some informational texts. 

Read these informational texts and answer the close reading questions.

  • Then, complete the graphic organizers (in the link with the informational texts) on the main idea, author’s purpose, and compare/contrast that follow.

2. Read this article: "Introvert" vs. "Extrovert".

Answer the following close reading questions in the Thesaurus.com Writing Tool.

  • What is the origin of the word introvert?
  • What does the word extrovert mean?
  • Are these two words similar in meaning?
  • What do these words typically describe?
  • Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Family fun activity:

1. Have a family movie night.

After the movie, discuss what you think the main idea and the author’s purpose of the movie was.

2. Think about your family members and classify them as introverts or extroverts.

Then tell them what you think they are and see if they agree.

Day 5: Learning about the news

Self-guided activity:

1. Read the following coronavirus informational texts. 

2. Then answer these close-reading questions in the Thesaurus.com Writing Tool

  • What is the coronavirus, and how is it abbreviated?
  • What are 3 possible symptoms of the coronavirus?
  • How can you ensure you're washing your hands long enough to get rid of germs?
  • What are other ways you can help prevent other people from getting sick?
  • Where can you go for accurate information on the coronavirus?
  • What is an epidemic?
  • What is a pandemic?
  • What are 3 other terms related to the coronavirus that have been in the news?

Family time activity:

1. As a family, discuss what each of you can do to avoid contracting COVID-19 or any other illness in the future.

What changes have you and your family made that you plan to continue doing after the pandemic is over?

Write down these changes on a piece of paper and display them in your house. Explain why they are beneficial, even after the COVID-19 scare is over.

Day 6: Short stories

Self-guided activities:

1. Choose a short story to read. 

Here is a list of free short stories to choose from.

Then choose 2 reading response questions to answer for each color of task card (pink, green, blue) here.

2. Watch this short story in video form.

WATCH: This Is Why You Should Not Judge A Word By How It Sounds

Then, answer a question from each color task card above. (It can be the same or different questions.)

Family time activity:

1. Ask your parents or grandparents what their favorite short story was when they were your age.

Read that story together.

Day 7: Subjects and predicates

Self-guided activity:

1. Read this article about subjects and predicates.

2. After you’re done, use the Thesaurus.com Writing Tool to write 5 sentences.

Identify the subject and predicate in each sentence.

3. Read this article about how to get subjects to agree with verbs.

Look at what you wrote above in the Writing Tool. Do your subjects agree with the verbs? Fix them if not!

4. Bonus: Read this article about predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives.

Explain the difference to your parents and see if they knew those differences already!

Family time activity:

1. Play a game: Roll of the Dice!

If you have more than three players, you can divide the players into teams.

  • Have each player write 2–3 nouns (subjects) and 2–3 verbs (predicates) on individual scraps of paper or index cards. Put the words into a hat or other container.
  • At the start of each turn, the player picks a word and rolls a die (you can make one if need be). If the player rolls a:
    • 1, they have to identify whether the word is a subject or predicate.
    • 2,  they have to identify whether the word is a subject or predicate, and use the word in a sentence.
    • 3,  they have to identify whether the word is a subject or predicate. Then they have to give an antonym of the word (a word that means the opposite).

Have you seen our Week 1 activities for middle school students? Take a look!

We've also released Week 3 for more daily activities. Take a look!