I love this time of year. The fall season feels like an extended holiday season regardless of the holidays each person celebrates: Halloween and Thanksgiving followed by the Winter Break holidays. Students, administration, teachers, and parents love giving and receiving gifts. With the recent reveal of the 2016 Starbucks Holiday Cups, it is a time to embrace the current season and the holidays to come.
Starbucks has become commonplace to represent coffee around the U.S and the world. Students at all levels are able to identify with the company, logo, and the coffee it serves. In many cities, rural and urban, students have indulged themselves with frappuccinos, lattes, hot chocolate, and steamed milk. Teachers frequent Starbucks this time of year with Peppermint Mochas and Egg Nog Lattes. Admin. teams and PTA groups often donate carafes of coffee to the teachers' lounge. Parents and students enjoy peppering teachers with Starbucks gift cards which teachers graciously accept adding to their holiday cheer.
Adding gimmicks to a lesson provides creativity, engages the mind, and increases student motivation. Gimmicks also help students connect interests to content. Utilizing physical movement along with gimmicks adds more intrigue and fosters increased brain activity encouraging synaptic connections.
For this activity, Starbucks, movement, and reading have been combined to provide a stimulating experience.
Items You Will Need:
Starbucks Coffee Cups (Disposable)
Coffee Cup Carriers
Used Gift Cards
Starbucks Coffee Cups (Write a character's name on cup)
Coffee lids (Inference based on character's actions)
Cup Sleeve (Main personality traits of character or textual evidence)
Coffee Cup Carriers (Setting description -consider how setting shapes character)
Used Gift Cards (vocabulary/literary term written- 1 per card) Hang gift cards from the ceiling or display them around room
To stage the activity, cups will be in one station, lids in another, sleeves in a third, and carriers in a fourth. The gift cards will be hanging or displayed on walls.
To perform the activity, students sit in groups of four. The teacher informs students that they need to get drinks ready for their study groups. However, unlike going to a real Starbucks, students work together to get their drink orders ready. Only one person from the groups can be up at a time. The first person must grab a cup. The second-fourth student can go in any order to retrieve the other items. Once each group has one of each item, the group decides if any of the items needs to be returned to its original location. Groups continue to work until they have four cups (with lids and sleeves) that go together in their carrier.
Depending on the reading content, there can be duplicates. There can be multiple settings at play as well as multiple stories. This activity can also be used with nonfiction and as a review for a unit of study. At the culmination of the activity, students can decorate the coffee cups and carriers with visuals from the text or additional textual evidence to support their combination.
While the activity takes initial setup time, it is a fun activity to review a text and prepare for a deeper analysis essay or discussion. The activity engages the mind through movement, higher-level thinking skills, and collaboration. Readers of all levels benefit from conversations that deepen their thinking regarding how characters, setting, theme, and literary terms connect. The physical visual of the coffee cups assembled in their carrier help students in subsequent activities and lessons recall information and apply it.
As you start to collect Starbucks coffee cups and gift cards, consider using them to further the education of your students! Happy Fall and Happy Holidays!