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Synonym Shaker Freebie!



Ok, my friends. I have been thinking about this activity since the summer when I stumbled upon this crazy awesome idea about discovery bottles over at Tunstalls Teaching Tidbits. Please allow me to give her proper credit for planting this seed in my brain!

I had been saving a collection of Tropicana juice bottles for some time. Why? I mean really. I've watched enough episodes of Hoarders to know that I was on the verge of a real problem. However, something was preventing me from throwing these away! They were so pretty and clear and I knew they'd be good for something someday, dang it! Well, call off the "organization interventionist" because I am putting them to good use my friends! I present to you...The Synonym Search Shaker!





Nestled among the colored rice (directions below) are 20 word cards. Students try to mach the list of words on their answer sheet with a word from inside the shaker...by, um, shaking it! The rice moves around in the jar and the kids try to get the words to peek through, much like these Find-it games that the kids love. I actually made enough cards for 2 separate shakers cleverly named Synonym Search 1 and Synonym Search 2. I first filled the bottle with colored pasta, but the papers seemed to all clump together in one place. The rice is much more effective and actually a bit less noisy. I have plans for that pasta though, no worries! I also tried pom-poms which actually worked ok, but they end up being exSPENsive even from the Dollar Tree!















Coloring rice or pasta is pretty darn easy and kind of fun. Fill a large ziplock bag with rice, add about 2-3 tbsp of rubbing alcohol or vinegar. They work equally well. Add a few drops of food coloring. For the rice I used the gel food coloring in neon colors and I squirted it pretty liberally. Then close the bag, mush it around and then lay it out flat to dry overnight. Here's the finished product drying on my back table and then after I mixed the colors together. 
The purple rice was dyed with vinegar, the others with alcohol.

So pretty! {& close...I was attempting to be artsy}

I made the word cards double sided so the kids will be able to spot the word easier in the rice. Just fold the word list in half and glue it shut before you cut the cards apart:

In case you didn't know: the black blade that comes with these trimmers will score a perfect fold line for you!
I have put together a file for you that includes everything you need to make your own synonym shaker - except the juice and rice of course. {I'll wait while you add that to your grocery list...} Click here to get the word cards and click the picture below to get everything else.
Let me know what you think and get ready to shake things up a bit!







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34 comments:

  1. Ha ha! You make me really laugh!
    I'm so glad that I am not the only crazy hoarder out there. My fella has learned (eventually) that if there are more than 2 empty cartons/ boxes/ jars/ bottles etc of the same kind... DO NOT THROW AWAY... because I'm keeping it for something really earth shattering and useful...that I haven't figured out yet :-S
    Super idea!

    Claire
    http://misstoffeesclass.blogspot.com

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  2. Such a fun idea! I can't wait to make these for my classroom!

    ~Meghan

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  3. What a fun idea! I bet your students LOVE it!

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  4. I love your idea. I can't wait to try this in my own classroom!

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  5. I was thinking that for my fourth graders I could put answers to math equations and they could match the answer with the problem. Or better yet, put awesome writing vocabulary in them and have the students write a sentence with the vocab words. I am sure there are a zillion other awesome ideas we could all come up with using your idea as a springboard. It is a genius idea!

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  6. I love this!!! Since I'm now math and science only I think I will do this with vocabulary! Thanks for another great idea!!!
    ~Fern
    Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!

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  7. Thanks for posting back! :) Your bottles are awesome!

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  8. This is amazing!!! Thank you! I'm your newest follower! :)

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  9. I'm stopping by to present the Versatile Blogger Award to you!!

    frogsandcupcakes.blogspot.com

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  10. Just love these bottles - thank you!

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  11. I wanted to let you know that I greatly admire your blog and I would like to give you the Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you so much for sharing all of your ideas and inspiring me on a daily basis!

    Victoria
    wisewittyteacher.blogspot.com

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  12. I awarded you the I Heart your Blog Award:) Come check out the post for details:))

    4th Grade Frolics

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  13. Thanks for all the great ideas! I gave you the I Heart Your Blog Award.
    Pitner's Potpourri

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  14. Hey, Girl!
    You’ve been awarded the I ♥ Your Blog Award, because I think you are an amazing blogger!!
    Please stop by my blog and pick up your award.
    Love,
    Debi
    Just 4 Teachers: Sharing Across Borders

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  15. I love the idea and thanks much for the hints. I wondered though about the rice...instant? regular? Does it matter?

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  16. I've had this on my to do list for a very long time. And today on my prep time I finally dyed my rice and printed out your word cards! Thank you so much for these!

    ~Mandy
    Billings, MT

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  17. Hey, Denise!! Such a super activity! Could you please, pretty please link this up here at my new blog - Your Green Classroom.

    Thank you!
    FlapJack Educational Resources

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  18. I do this with our sight words and color words.

    I recently made them with number 0-9. I am about to teach my students the addition sign. They will then be adding the number 1 to each number they "discover."

    I use Fuze bottles. They work great too!

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  19. My students and I love our Synonym Search and Antonym Search bottles. I am saving the individual sized Trop bottles to make Math facts practice bottles. I am going to put in number sentences for the students to copy and solve in their Math journals. Thanks sooo much for your fabulous idea!

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  20. This is such a great idea! This is definitely something I will think about making (thanks for planting the seed in my head too!)
    Love how you coloured the rice- what did you find better- the alcohol or vinegar?

    Michelle
    http://bloggingteachingandsecondgradeohmy.blogspot.com/

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  21. This is such a great idea! Thank you!

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  22. Thanks for sharing! I saved the Gatorade bottles for the same reason and have had to start the saving over again after getting the van detailed! My hubby has thrown them away a couple of times! The rice seams that it may be easier to do and get completed more quickly. Did you use paper or cardstock?

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  23. Do you think this will work with homophones? My 2nd grade granddaughter is struggling with these. Love your creativeness!

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  24. My husband hates my clutter! He is using my two thousand coffee cans for his screws now... He got in on the rice coloring and he is mixing them into bottles as we speak. Maybe he wants the table back?!?!

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  25. This is such a great idea. I have tried it but my words keep getting stuck together. Is there something special that you did so that as you shake the bottle, they dont all clump together?

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  26. This is a great idea. I have tried it and my words keep sticking together. Is there something that you did to keep the words from sticking together when the kids are shaking it up?

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  27. This is WONDERFUL! Thank you so much for sharing! My kiddos will love shaking this up on Monday.

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  28. I used the individual bottles and put half as many words inside. However, the words all clump together, even when I put them in one at a time and layer the rice! Is there a secret to them not sticking together?

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  29. This is brilliant!!! My student with learning difficulties loves to search for hidden things....he will absolutely love it..and it is low-cost and easy to make!!! wow.:)

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