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Need tips on how to make an engaging lesson plan? The truth is, it’s easier than you may think. There are only three key elements necessary to make a lesson plan exciting. Interested to know what the three key components are? Drum roll, please….Here they are: make learning fun, relatable to students' lives, and give them choices in their learning. Want some ideas on how to spice up your lessons? Keep reading to find out.
Tip One: Learning Should be Fun and Never Boring
Did you ever take a class that was the opposite of fun, where all you did was take notes while the teacher droned on, and on… and on? A class so boring that you’d rather watch paint dry? Everyone knows that no one learns a thing during those types of lessons. Why? Kids learn when they are having fun when there is variety and options. I've created a list of fun activities that will be perfect for your next engaging lesson:
- Social Studies: Have students dress up in historical figures for a history lesson.
- Social Studies: Have students be tour guides for a city of their choice.
- Science: Have students be the weatherman/woman for a lesson on weather/climate.
- Science: When teaching about density and liquids put honey, oil, water into a cup. And add food coloring to make it look pretty!
- Math: Math Bingo! Create math problems on each Bingo square. Allow students time to solve the problems, then play Bingo with the answers.
- Math: To practice graphs, have students survey their classmates on a particular topic then create graphs to represent the answers
- English: Have students do a book report and create a book in a bag! Have them put objects in the bag that have to do with the theme of the book.
- English: When teaching prepositions, have students create a dance or a song !
These are just a few of hundreds of fun activities that you could use in your classroom to spice things up. The important thing is to use variety so students stay engaged.
Tip Two: Make the Lesson Relatable to the Students' lives
Students learn better if they feel connected to the lesson, so make your lesson relatable to their lives today. If you are teaching a high school class about the French Revolution, teach them about teenagers that lived in Paris during the 1780s-1790s. What were their lives like? What did teens do? Can they find similarities in their lives today to the lives of the French teens then?
Science teachers, if you are teaching a lesson on the environment, take the students on a field trip to pick up trash at a park. If students can see how they can make a positive impact on the world around them, their learning will become lifelong. If you are a high school English teacher, have your students practice writing a college application essay, after taking a field trip to a local college. The options for real-life applications are endless. The key is to make your lesson relatable to their daily lives, and students will stay engaged and want to learn more.
Tip Three: Give Students Choice in their Learning
The third way to create an engaging lesson plan is to give students choice in their learning. Learning should never be a one-way street, with one method. Diversity and options are key to having a successful lesson. If you are teaching about World War II, give students options to do a video presentation of D-Day, an essay, or a newsletter written from the point of view of someone from that era. The reason why giving choices is important is because all students learn differently. Some students learn best when they write, some when they speak, some when they do a visual or creative art representation of something. If students are given a choice in how they show their learning, they are more likely to remember the learning and enjoy the process.
Now you know that it is possible to create engaging and effective lessons. Plus, it is pretty easy to do so. Just remember, to keep your lesson plans fun by using variety, making them relatable to students' lives, and giving them choices in their learning. Once you follow these three tips, you will never teach a boring or forgettable lesson again. Looking for even more tips on how to create captivating lessons? See here.