How do you use...popsicle sticks!?

Quick post today since we are busy cleaning and packing our apartment.  Plus, we have a wedding to go to tonight so I need to have time for a nap!  Owl-Ways Be Inspired is hosting a weekly linky on how we use everyday objects in the classroom.  This week's object is popsicle sticks!
You've probably heard of this, but one quick and easy way I use popsicle sticks in my classroom is for a review game called ZAP! (some people call it BAM!, BOOM!, BANG!...whatever works!).  All you need are a concept to review, some sticks, and a cup.  
The popsicle sticks in the cup have sight words written on them.  A handful of the sticks have the word ZAP! written on them instead of a sight word.  To play, the first student takes the stick out and reads the word or solves the problem on the stick.  If correct, the child keeps the stick and the next child takes a turn.  If incorrect, the stick goes back in the cup.  The kids keep taking turns.  If someone pulls a stick that says ZAP!, that child has to put all of his/her sticks back into the cup.  Because of this, the game really goes on and on...but if you need a "winner" it would be the person with the most sticks.

The game works well for a concept that is being reviewed, because the students have to be pretty comfortable knowing the answers.  Otherwise, you'd need an adult or older student there to make sure the answers are correct.  

Besides sight words, the game could be played with math problems written on the sticks, vocabulary words to use in sentences, words to give synonyms or antonyms for, letters and students could give the sounds, etc.  Have you played this game?  What skills do you use it for?


  1. I use Popsicle sticks at the beginning of the year for dismissal. This is a stressful, hectic process right at the beginning, especially in Kindergarten, which is what I started teaching and it's when I came up with this system. Each child has his/her name written on a color coded stick (yellow=bus, blue=daycare, red=carpool lane, etc.). I line the students up and hand them their stick. It's easy to see all the color groups are together so I don't have a kid at the end of the line who was supposed to be up front for daycare drop off! They HAVE to hand me their stick once I've dropped them off at the appropriate area or released them to the person who picks them up. Once I have all the sticks I know I've taken care of each child, no missing students, no worries. Saves my sanity and I only need it for the first week or so.

  2. Thanks so much for linking up! I've made this game before, but never with popsicle sticks. Thanks for the reminder!

    Tales from Outside the Classroom
    Owl-Ways Be Inspired


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