Your lesson wraps up early, and you have 5 minutes before lunch. You want your students to stay in their seats and stay quiet until it’s time to line up, but you don’t want to start a new lesson. Here are some 5 minute time fillers to use when you have a few extra minutes.
5 Minute Time Fillers
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#1 – I Spy a Word
My students love playing a different version of the traditional “I Spy” game. Instead of spying an object around the room, we spy words.
I give them clues about the word that make them use things they’ve learned during the year. Some of my favorite clues include:
- Number of syllables
- The letter it starts or ends with
- Rhyming words
- Synonyms or antonyms
#2 – 20 Questions
Another favorite in my classroom is 20 Questions. I read the top of the card and tell my students if it’s a person, place, or thing. Then, I give one clue at a time. I allow 3 students to guess before reading another clue. My students love to try to be the first one to guess it!
#3 – Hangman
Hangman is a great way to review content you’ve been teaching. Choose any word and draw the lines on the board. Allow your students to take turns choosing letters.
I don’t draw the traditional hangman when students guess an incorrect letter. Instead, I draw a picture that fits with the season. I do a jack-o-lantern for fall, a snowman for winter, and a flower for spring. I also make the student who guesses the correct word tell what the word means.
#4 – Brain Quest Questions
Brain Quest is also a hit! My students love trying to answer the questions. Brain Quest cards are available for every grade level. Find the set you need here.
Answering trivia questions is always fun, but adding in a dartboard makes it irresistable. When my students get an answer correct, they get to throw two balls at the dartboard. If the ball sticks, I add that many points (minus the zero) on Class Dojo.
Since 5 minutes isn’t long enough for the whole class to do this, I choose students who were on their best behavior for my lesson. This improves the whole class’s behavior for the rest of the day, since they all want to be able to answer a question and throw the balls.
#5 – Sparkle
If you still do weekly spelling words, Sparkle is a fun game. My school stopped teaching spelling in isolation several years ago. However, before that Sparkle was one of our favorite games to play.
If you’re not familiar with Sparkle, here’s how to play.
- Have your students stand behind their chairs.
- Say a spelling word.
- The first student stays the word again.
- The next students each say one letter from the word. If they get them correct, they continue standing. If they get a letter wrong, they sit down.
- After the word is finished, the next person repeats the whole word.
- The next student says, “Sparkle,” and the person after them sits.
This game requires all of your students to stay quiet and pay attention. If it’s a student’s turn and they don’t know the word or where they are in the word, they have to sit. This game moves quickly and can definitely be finished in 5 minutes if your students know how to play.
#6 – 30 Second Mysteries Game
I originally bought the 30 Second Mysteries Game to use as part of our mystery genre study in reading. However, my students loved it so much that they begged to play any time we had a few extra minutes. Now, it’s been added to my regular rotation of 5 minute time fillers.
The title suggests the mysteries only take 30 seconds to solve, but that’s about how long it takes to read the mystery. Then, there are clues you can give the students if they can’t solve it yet. I take 3 guesses after each clue. The students also love that this game comes with a cool magnifying glass to reveal the answers to the mysteries.
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What Do You Think?
What are your favorite 5 minute time fillers?
Let me know in the comments below.
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