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Save 30% on this exciting yet challenging Back to School brain teaser fun bundle. $5.35 off– woo hoo! These no-prep Back to School brain teaser resources for grades 5-8 students will help them sharpen essential skills that might have got rusty during the summer. Their brain cells will ZING! 

Back to School Brain Teaser Stories, Riddles and Puzzles for Middle School

The stories, riddles and puzzles in this resource will furnish students with smiles at the end of a tiring Back to School day, while still exercising their brain cells. The first week of the year is exhausting for teachers too- this fun packet will provide some relief! The easiest way to use many of the activities, like the mysteries, writing races and memory games, is to show them on your screen. The answers to the brain teaser stories are on separate pages to avoid spoilers that would reduce the excitement. Most of the writing activities can be completed on scraps of paper from the recycling bin, or on devices if you choose.

The mix and match riddles, scrambled words, crack the code words and the maze need to be photocopied. To promote classroom spirit and to save on photocopying, these activities could be completed in pairs. Putting all of the answer keys up on your screen will also cut down on photocopying.

The Internet is not required for any of the games. I hope that your students have lots of fun!

ELA Brain Teaser Bellringers- 12 weeks of fun!

Daily morning work, warm-ups, bell ringers- whatever you call them, what better way is there for a grades 5-8 student to start your class than with a fun brainteaser? The only thing that beats it is having a brainteaser bell ringer every class for an entire term AND getting a completion mark for their bell ringer journal at the end of term! A simple rubric to mark it is included. Your grades 5-8 students will dash to your class; no-one will want to be late for the fun – and sometimes competitive – start to the lesson. Of course, these 3-5 minute DAILY brainteasers could be used as exit tickets to keep students focused right through to the last minute of a block, or even as fun activities for early finishers. They could also be high interest homework on most days (except for Team Time Tuesdays) for students who typically grumble about homework.
The Internet is not required for any of the bell ringers. The only supplies required (beyond the photocopied journal) are some scraps of paper from the recycling bin. The answers can be displayed by using the included fun PowerPoint. Here’s how the week unfolds!
Mix It Up Mondays
On Mondays, students will never know what is going to await them. Riddles? Speed writing? Finishing off a humorous tale? They will have to race to your room to find out!

Team Time Tuesday

Tuesday is the time of the week when the bell ringer is a team effort with at least one or two others.

Word play Wednesday

Word play -such as fun puns- abound!

Brainteaser Tale Thursday

A brain teaser short story will entertain your students – and have them pulling out their hair to work out the answer.

Funny Friday

On Fridays, chuckles are always on the menu! Jokes, riddles and general silliness will put a smile on your students’ faces.
How to use this resource

Photocopy the 24 pages of this resource (2 pages for each week of a 12 week term) for each child. Students will write in responses every day and submit the brainteaser journal/workbook for completion marking at the term’s end. Some of the activities have no right or wrong responses. The answers for those that do can either be displayed in a colorful PowerPoint, or photocopied from the answers section of the PDF with one answer sheet for every desk.
Table of contents

Bell ringers Pages 1-24

Answers Pages 25-36

Journal Rubric Page 37

Reading Comprehension Literary Terms Mystery Story

A fun brain teaser mystery comprehension story to get your grades 5-8 students’ brain cells zinging while simultaneously learning 15 literary terms? What a combo! It really doesn’t get much better, does it? This high interest 4 page mystery story for Middle School concerns a nasty note (or is it?) that a teacher finds on the classroom floor before the start of a big literary terms test. He won’t rest until he discovers who wrote it, but he needs help from two of his students, Knowlan and Jean Yuss, and from your students too, of course! The questions that follow the story will hone your students’ comprehension skills. These questions quiz students on essential skills such as character analysis, in addition to posing questions on the 15 literary terms. A variety of formats are used to assess their understanding, including multiple choice questions, mix and match, true and false and short answer. Some of the multiple choice questions are modeled on those asked on many state tests, thus this resource provides super test prep. Knowledge of the literary terms will help students to discover the writer of the nasty note.

Answer keys are included. A paragraph question on one of the major characters in the story is included, accompanied by a rubric and a model paragraph response. The resource ends with a page of quickie riddles for students to puzzle over. Students will have so much fun and so many chuckles that they will not realize they are learning!

Table of contents
15 literary terms definitions
“The Literary Terms Test Mystery”

Mystery questions

Comprehension questions
Multiple choice questions 

Finding and creating examples questions

Paragraph question

Paragraph rubric

Mystery answers

Comprehension answers

Multiple choice answers 

Finding and creating examples answers

Model paragraph response
Riddle answers

60 ELA Brain Teasers
 These 60 brain teaser tasks are perfect to have at the ready for instant fun and critical thinking. If your grades 5-8 students are getting restless and need a change of pace or brain break, or if an activity doesn’t take as long as you predict, bring out these cards! They will create smiles, while also stretching growing brains. It doesn’t get much better really, does it?
Uses for the brain teaser cards They are ideal for morning work, or even as class closers. Individual students will enjoy challenging themselves, or they can be used in groups to boost classroom community. Early finishers will have lots of fun with them, but they are even more fun when used in small groups, with students taking it in turns to pose the questions. Alternatively, they can be used with whole classes, with the teacher or camp leader reading the cards aloud. Yet one more alternative is that they could be used at home, with parents and siblings. Two thirds of the cards contain a variety of short stories or riddles for students to puzzle over. The other cards mostly seek for similarities between words.

How to set up the activity If you intend to get the students to ask each other the brain teasers, photocopy enough question and answer cards for the number of groups you wish to have. You can leave the cards in sheets (6 to a page) or cut them into individual cards and double back the answers- whatever you prefer! Photocopy them onto card stock or laminate them and they will continue to delight many future classes.

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