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TITLE: LIKE THE BACK OF MY HAND AUTHOR: Barbara Howard, Canadian Valley Vo-Tech, GRADE LEVEL: 9-12. OVERVIEW: Many students have difficulty finding something to write about and view writing as drudgery. PURPOSE: The purpose of this exercise is to introduce students to writing for fun. OBJECTIVES: Upon completing this activity, students will: 1. Have written nine phrases 2. Have selected the best three 3. Have shared their writing with others ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES: 1. Have your students sit on their hands so that they can't see their hands. Keep your own hands where the rest of the group can't see them. When everyone is more or less uncomfortable sitting on their hands, ask questions a-g below. Get out-loud responses from everyone, if you can. Call on people by name, or take turns around the group. a) Have you any little white spots on your fingernails? b) If your hands were flat in front of you, would the tip of your thumb reach your second knuckle on your index finger? c) Which of your fingers have hair on the middle of the three parts? d) Which is longer your-your index finger or your ring finger? e) Have you any freckles or moles on the backs of your hands? Where exactly? f) Which fingernail is shortest? Which is longest? g) When your index finger is stretched straight out, how many wrinkles are there in your middle knuckle? 2. After everyone has answered all the questions above , have people look at their hands. Read questions a-g again as everyone looks at his or her hands-and marvels. 3. Anyone who got six of the seven questions right deserves a handshake. Give him/her one. And say something personal to everyone. For example: You're really wonderful. You sure know a lot about the back of your hand. 4. Finally, tell everyone to get a pencil or pen and begin working on number 5 below. 5. Look closely at the back of one hand. Find shapes of animals, faces, highways, other things. Write three phrases saying what you see. 6. Look at the shape of your hand, the outline of your fingertips, your fingernails, the bumps and veins and wrinkles and hair. Think of things they look like or remind you of, and write three of them below. 7. Look hard for things you have never really seen before-patterns, shapes. Move your fingers and notice what changes. Write three phrases telling what you see. 8. You have nine phrases in blanks 6, 7, and 8. Put a check alongside the best three. 9. On the next page, trace the outline of your hand. Spread your fingers slightly and fill the page. 10. The outline of your hand is like a map. Take the three phrases you just checked and put them on your handmap wherever they look best. 11. Have each student share his/her work with the group.