What's The Point
Francine’s Reverse-a-Balls have come to your neighborhood and are scrambling words and phrases all around your home. Challenge your child to unscramble them while building vocabulary, spelling, and math skills.
– Francine is slamming Earth with her reverse-a-balls and scrambling up all the words. Find and turn off the reverse-a-ball machines, and unscramble the words.
This Activity Will Help Your Child
- Build vocabulary and spelling skills
- Create and use a bar graph
- Use basic math to compare outcomes
- Bar Graphs
by Vijaya Bodach
- Tiger Math: Learning to Graph from a Baby Tiger
by Ann Whitehead Nagda
Printed materials such as newspapers, magazines, or advertisements
Paper and pencil
Crayons or markers
How Do I Do It?
- Gather printed material. Find five words, and cut out each word.
- Now cut out the individual letters. Keep the letters for each word in a separate pile on the table. Number the word piles 1-5.
- Shuffle the letters in each pile.
- Challenge your child to unscramble the words as fast as she can. Using a stopwatch or the second hand on a watch or clock, record her times unscrambling each pile.
- With your child, create a bar graph displaying the different times. Put the numbers for each word pile along the bottom of the graph (X-axis) and time increments in seconds up the side of the graph (Y-axis).
- Compare the words. Ask questions such as:
- Which word took the longest amount of time to unscramble? Shortest?
- How many more seconds did it take to complete the longest word scramble than the shortest?
- How long did it take to unscramble all five piles (add up all the times)?
Take It Further
Switch roles. Have your child find his own five reverse-a-ball words for you to unscramble.
Instead of cutting apart words, try cutting apart 5-word phrases (such as: “Yesterday at the local pool…”). Take turns scrambling and unscrambling these word phrases.
Create the bar graph on a computer using a numbers processing program, such as Excel or Numbers. Invite your child to present her findings to you in an official “report” from Prankster Planet.