The classroom is the domain of students, day in and day out, for many years. Teachers try their best to add visuals, posters, pictures, colored boxes and papers to brighten up the area.
Costumes are always considered part of the drama classroom, or Halloween. It is a fun idea, however, to plan some regular lessons using costumes. History, geography, language and social studies can include a day in which costumes are used. For presentations, review, games, and assignments, the visual effect of costumes create very memorable lessons. Students will always remember a lesson when Jenny became Margaret Thatcher, and Johnny was Abraham Lincoln, and the teacher dressed up as Churchill to do a review of the history of World War 2.
For young students and teenagers, having to do homework involving finding items to make a costume takes thought and planning and originality - and what more could a teacher want than that?
Arrange for each student to choose a YouTube video and be ready to show the class. Gather the students in your computer room or wherever you have your computer. Each student, in turn, presents his/her video and explains why it is interesting or humorous. This is a good choice for winter weather blues. Easy to give for homework (as they have to prepare) and fun to have as a relaxed lesson.
Visual, tactile props stimulate the eye and mind and result in creativity in the classroom. Lessons in which props are used are more memorable for the students.
Visual props are an essential item in a drama or language classroom. Items such as pictures, cereal box cartoon characters, magazine cut-outs, crafts, toys, add focal points to the lessons to stir imagination.
An extremely effective prop is fabric. The magic of colors and large arrays of textured textiles are very exciting. Teachers can use props not only in drama and language lessons but also in other classes such as geography and history. Textiles can brighten up a presentation, and make the subject matter more real in a student’s mind.
For more of this article that I wrote, you can see further. My book on this topic of "Using Props in the Classroom" will soon be available.
Test taking can be a learning process instead of a nerve-wracking experience for students. Multiple choice tests and cramming for exams are unnecessary After a mad rush to get the material completed, both the teacher and student have to face the testing stage of the learning process.
When teachers have completed a section of work and want to ensure that their students have understood the material, they inevitably give some kind of summarizing activity, quiz or test, either orally or in written form. The test serves not only to ascertain if the students have grasped the work, but also ensures that the teachers, themselves, have taught the subject adequately.
Use creative ideas to test your students, such as pairing them and getting them to write a role play with the information. The could create a game for other students using the topic just learned. Another way is to have each student write a question and the teacher puts them all together to form the test. The could answer a question by writing a diary of a character using the information from the test material.
Check out the creative writing section on the site and use those ideas to formulate a test.
In the ESL classroom, warm-up activities are very important. Not only is it a friendly, all-inclusive first step to ensure that each student gets a turn, but also enables a cool down from a previous lesson, creates a segue to welcome the students, interests them immediately yet also demands instant answers in an unstressed environment. It subtly says to the students, "Look, we are having fun, but you can't sit back or sleep in this lesson, you have to participate".
Warm up activities can consist of any kind of activity, but the idea is to keep it short and fun. Examples: a quick game, a "round-robin" answering a given question by the teacher, a riddle or abstract picture already displayed on the board to prompt a response, a handing out of pictures and asking for some kind of opinion, answer or pair work discussion, very short dialog role play on the board (abstract dialogs are good for high level students), a singular prop/visual object for discussion. This will also be interesting for you, the teacher.
After receiving responses regarding ready lesson plans, I will start posting creative lesson plans that I hope will appeal to teachers of ESL. drama, and the language arts. Many of the ideas can be adapted to suit your students, their levels, and their interests.
With thanks, and wishing you a good year.
Hello fellow teachers,