Fortune Tellers {Spark Student Motivation}

My second grade students LOVE fortune tellers!  This is a phenomena I only just discovered last year, but wish I had known about much sooner! 

I call them cootie catchers...but my students have no idea what those are and call them fortune tellers, so I am trying to adjust.  Does anyone know why they were every called cootie catchers to begin with?

Here's a YouTube video on how to make a fortune teller, just in case you have forgotten.
I only teach ELAR, so we don't use them too often, maybe once a week or every other week, but it keeps the idea fun and fresh.  If we did it every day, it'd probably lose it's novelty.

Every week I make a fortune teller with their spelling words. If we don't have time to do it in class, I'll send it home with them.  If they see it around, they'll beg for it.  The worst that could happen is that they make someone play with them at home, right?  Sometimes they won't put them away during class...which isn't necessarily a bad thing, because it means they are sort of studying.

I like using the fortune tellers because not only are they fun, but they give practice with both reading and spelling at the same time.  Here's an example of on of our spelling fortune tellers.
We've also used them to review prefixes and suffixes.  I have a pack of fortune tellers for this that I use throughout the year.  I should probably go back and change this title!
Time saver tip:  Just use the paper cutter and cut the fortune teller into a square before you even give it to your students.  This will save time, having to locate scissors, and keep the scraps off your floor!

My students sometimes get fortune tellers from their math teacher as well.  What topics do you use fortune tellers for?  Sometimes it's tricky to think of, because it has to be something they are familiar enough with to practice on their own in order to be of benefit.

If you've read all the way down here, I have a freebie for you!  A ppt document with fortune teller template in it.  All you need to do is add the text boxes to make your own.  You can download it here from Google docs.
Have a great three day weekend!


  1. Oooooh I'm so excited about that template Jessica! Thank you, thank you!!! My students love these too-we use them for review for tests. We usually just write all the information on the boxes, but now thanks to you, I can save lots of time! VERY motivational! It's the simple things right? I loved these as a kid too! Thanks for linking up!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. We call them cootie-catchers here - I did not know they were also called fortune tellers. They are great for review and practice of so many things and you are right the kids love them! I have used them for word study and math - but it has been awhile. Thanks to this post my kids are doing multiplication ones this week!! Thanks for the template too.

  3. Great idea! Thank you so much for sharing your template!

  4. I love how you are using these in your classroom. Thank you so much for sharing your template!

    Fit to be Fourth

  5. I remember these from when I was a kid! Loved them then and will use them now! Thanks for sharing.

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  6. Thank you for sharing the template. My kids love cootie catchers and they are a great way to review!

    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  7. Thanks for sharing! These are great motivators. Awesome resource.

    What I Have Learned

  8. What an awesome Freebie! Thank you so so so much!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  9. Thank you so much for the wonderful template. I know my students will enjoy making/using these. Let's face way to increase motivation is by making learning tons of fun! Thanks Jessica!

  10. I have always called them Cootie Catchers too! I have fond memories of making them as a child with my friends. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  11. This blog website is pretty cool! How was it made ! voyance par telephone


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