Often times as teachers, we are so focused on making sure our lesson plans fully engage, assess, and develop multi-tiered levels of learning that we forget one of the most substantial ingredients in helping our students excel… creativity!
Here are five tips to help students of all learning abilities and across all subjects to experience more active engagement by stimulating their senses and captivating their attention.
- READ ALOUD
Yes, this is something done earlier and often in students’ scholastic careers, but the technique should be employed throughout all levels. No matter what text is assigned, there is opportunity for the teacher to lead students in creative ways to cover the information. Have students take turns, choose who reads at random, and change it up often. Finding ways to make covering the information engaging and spontaneous for all students will keep them actively involved.
- ADD COLORS
Often times, students need to take notes on the subject at hand. Have students color-code their notes with colored pencils. For each important new piece of information they need to write down, change up the color. It’s a simple way to create a more vivid collection of content primed for studying.
- EMPOWER STUDENTS TO TEACH
A creative method to assess students on the lesson is to have them share their discoveries and newfound understandings by teaching the content back to the entire classroom. Set aside time to give students the stage and let them share and teach what they’ve learned. It will help students commit to following along and processing what is being taught, so they can be ready to teach it back to their peers.
- CONNECT WITH STUDENTS’ LIVES
At some point in the lesson, ask students to write a journal entry about something in their lives that relates to the subject at hand. Students will always engage more to material if they understand how it connects to their own lives. These parallels are key and well worth the discovery time on the teacher’s side.
- CREATE A CREATIVE WALL SPACE
Encouraging students to share their work and newfound knowledge is key to unlocking the feeling of pride of their accomplishments and motivating others to do the same. Have a wall in the room where students can share visual proof of their learning. It can feature student work, and even be a place where students can share facts and information they want to highlight from their daily lessons. Create a place for students to write, draw, and share their thoughts and insights. This will encourage self-expression and become another way to support review of the topics you are teaching in your current lesson plan.
What are some creative ways you have enhanced your lesson plans? We’d love to hear from you!