THE PLAY'S THE THING, board game review:

"Here's an idea: watch Shakespeare in Love and keep that film's re-creation of the Globe Theatre in mind while playing The Play's the Thing. Set in the Globe, this board game encourages players to get to know their Bard a little better. Each player is an unemployed actor in Elizabethan England, desirous of performing as many scenes as possible from Shakespeare's plays. The object of the game is to assemble all the cards necessary to mount and perform a particular scene from Julius Caesar, Hamlet, or Romeo and Juliet (actually, performance is optional). Roll a die and make your way across the board, which features all sorts of stage mishaps, duels, and missed cues. There are four levels of play geared toward different degrees of familiarity with Shakespeare's work.... This is a great way to brush up on the three featured classics." --Tom Keogh

Click on the book to look inside or buy it at Amazon.

Just a Joke

Teacher: Name two pronouns.
Kid: Who, me?

Knock Knock.
Who’s there?
To who?

Q. What happened when the past, the present, and the future got together?
A. It was tense.

Q. What do you get when cross a joke with a rhetorical question?

Q. Why don't kleptomaniacs understand metaphors?
A. Because they take things literally.

Q. Why was the broom late for work?
A. Because it over-swept.

Q. What do grammarians call Santa's helpers?
A. Subordinate clauses.

Q: Why did airport security turn away the vulture?
A: Too much carrion luggage.

Q. Why did the bird crash into the mountain?
A. Because it was flying solo. (So low.)

Q. Why wasn't the fashion show very good?
A. Because it was sew-sew. (so-so)

Q. Why did the perspicacious person put all his money in the ocean?
A. In order to salt it away.

Q. Why aren't doctors good sports?
A. Because they're sore losers.

Language Arts Games

NOUN HOUNDS and Other Great Grammar Games

Here's a creative collection of ready-to-go, classroom–tested grammar games, complete with reproducible boards, cards, and pieces. The games tap into all learning styles (visual, logical, interpersonal, kinesthetic, etc.), not just verbal learning. For grades 3-6.

These are the favorite games, the ones students actually ask to play:

Noun Hounds board game (name people, places, and things from A to Z)
Walk the Walk Charades (adverbs)
Command Performance (imperative verb tense and following directions),
The Black Hole (pronoun board game)
Where's Herman? (prepositions)
Run–On Riddle Relay Race (run–on sentences)
Word Jam (contractions concentration)
The Drop Dead Grammar Slammer Game (grammar review)

Best-Ever Vocabulary Games

Teach and learn vocabulary the smart way—using Latin and Greek roots and prefixes and a real-world context (medicine, cooking, advertising, and so on). A few favorite games:

Synonym Tag
Triage: A Word Emergency Game (words with a human body or medical origin)
Toga Treasure Hunt (searching for Latin-based words)
Verbosaurus and Bingo Lingo (match words with word roots; use word roots to make words)
Le Menu (food words)
Advantageous Advertising (use vocabulary skills to create powerful product names)

This book is out of print after a very successful run but is available in used editions. I'm working on issuing the best games in digital and boxed set editions.

Do Kids Like Shakespeare? Yes, They Do!

Here's a sampling of my favorite activities from TEACHING SHAKESPEARE: YES YOU CAN:

Rude Dude or Kind Mind? (change Shakespeare's insults into compliments)
Who's Who at the Masked Ball? (use witty conversation to guess which character other students are portraying)
Humorous Homonyms and Other Puns
Metaphorically Speaking
Dying in Style (those famous last words!)
Dear Blabby (give advice to troubled characters)
Characters Stand Accused (a mock trial)
High-Class Costumes (Why was the color of clothing such a big deal?)

This book is currently out of print. Look for used copies online or at the library.

Stories & Games

Born-Digital Products
Science and nature games, activities, animations, and more for ages 6-9.
A digital story told in narrated episodes, interactive journals, and social media.
Mayan Mysteries (Dig-It Games) is a narrative video game about archaeological adventures, with puzzles to solve and mini-games to play.
Children's Books
Read the sad, moving tale of a peace-loving leader who lost his land, many of his people, and his life-long fight to keep the peace.
The true science adventures of Diane France, forensic anthropologist. NSTA Selector's Choice, AAAS/SB&F Subaru finalist, starred reviews!
Adriana Ocampo found her path to science adventure through space-traveling robots and crashing asteroids! (FREEBIE science quizzes.)
The Body as Evidence (Autopsies) and Crime Scene Investigation!
Outdoor fun for 6 to 8 year olds.
Tornadoes! and Hurricanes! are my two best-selling books with 1.6 million sold!
A must-have card game set for English language (ESL/EFL) and language arts teachers and tutors. (FREEBIE ESL materials.)
My top selling game book!
Lively games and activities about grammar, vocabulary, and dictionary skills.
Great American History Games, 15 Primary Source Activities (plays, games, readings, and more) and more!
Race from Earth to Mars, an orbiting target, by fixing malfunctions and answering intriguing science questions. Endorsed by astronaut Jack Lousma.