Skip to main content

Bottle Flipping

Last week someone posted article on Facebook about the newest trend with middle schoolers-bottle flipping.  If you haven't heard of it, you probably don't teach middle school or have a child in middle school! Consider  yourself lucky! If you know about it, then you also know it's annoying as heck.  Kids (usually boys), toss a partially filled water bottle into the air so that it flips in midair.  The goal is to have the bottle land upright.  This year I have had to ask several students to put their water bottles away because they wanted to flip them.  I know,  I'm mean!  

After reading the Facebook article I thought, "Hey!  I bet I can incorporate this into a lesson somehow."  Using my Oreo lesson as a model, that's just what I did.  First, I found two different articles about bottle flipping.  I went through both looking for key vocabulary words.  I then typed out the sentences with the words and created an activity where students had to guess the definition of the word based on its context. They also had to identify the context clue. Some of the words were:  incessant, pandemonium, terrorize, epidemic, and exasperated.  Once they finished, we had a discussion about the words. For example, I asked them, "What are some things that make your parents feel exasperated?"  They love sharing! Afterwards, we watched a four minute video of some amazing bottle flippers (they loved the talented toddler)!

Next, we marked the text.  As we read, I pointed out  and asked questions regarding the author's strategies. The students made notes in the margins.  For example," How did the author begin the article and was it effective?"  The first article began with "Gurgle, Thud, Crunch."  One of my students yelled excitedly, "That's onomatopoeia!"  The class agreed that this was a good way to begin because it describes the sounds of bottle flipping.

After that, I gave the kids a break by having a bottle flipping contest.  Each student got 10 tries.   I gave prizes to the top three flippers.  The girls, most of whom had never attempted bottle flipping, gave it a try, as well.  I think the girls and I both have a new appreciation of the art of bottle flipping.  I told the winners that this would likely be the only time at school that they would be rewarded for this skill.

Friday we will read a second article on the topic.  We will compare the text structures, as well as the types of details and support used in each article!

Popular posts from this blog

Oreos in China and Read 180

A few years ago I read an article about what happened when Kraft introduced the Oreo to the Chinese in 1996.  It was not a success.  The Chinese thought the filling was too sweet-the cookie too bitter.  Kraft almost pulled the beloved cookie off the shelves. Instead, they began a quest to find out how to make the Oreo appeal to the Chinese. Enter the green tea Oreo, the mango Oreo, and an Oreo in the shape of a straw (not sure that still qualifies as an Oreo).  The revamped Oreos were a huge success! I found the article fascinating and decided to design a lesson around  it to share with my students.

First I showed them a news clip from CNN about the topic. Then, I taught them a few vocabulary words that appear in the article using Kate Kinsella's method.  Next, we read the article together and marked the text. I did a think aloud as I read aloud to them.  After that, students created a T-Chart listing the ten most important words in the text, as well as five main ideas from the tex…

How to Train, Tame, and Enjoy a Seventh-Grader

I remember when my oldest son went to middle school.  I was a mess.  I was so anxious about whether he'd like his teachers, make friends, and be able to handle all of the work.  I think I was one of those parents that drive teachers crazy. No, I WAS one of those parents. I emailed teachers with questions that I could have asked my son (even when I asked him, I didn't trust his answer).  I checked his grades every day.  I constantly asked him whether or not he was caught up on homework. I asked him who he ate lunch with. If he didn't like a teacher, I wanted him transferred to another class.   If he messed up, I wanted to fix it.  If he didn't turn in an assignment on time, I wanted the teacher to let him turn it in late.  If he forgot his lunch, I wanted my husband to bring it to him (thankfully he refused). If he wasn't starting his homework when I thought he should,  I was practically putting the pencil in his hand and opening the textbook. In other words, I was …