Lesson planning can be an arduous task when you’re on a budget. Creating educational activities that are interactive and fun for students is key to keeping them focused and attentive. Here are 10 ways to keep your students learning and engaged, without costing a pretty penny.
1. Action Cards for Tiny Tots
For wee ones who are still learning about the diverse world of colors, animals and sounds, imitating new words is a fun way to retain information. Oopsy Daisy has downloadable action cards available for mommies and teachers who love getting a bit silly with their kids and having fun while learning. Students can also create their own action cards to share with friends!
2. Teensy Totems
It is important for students to discover and appreciate different cultural backgrounds at an early age. Second graders can have fun, while also learning about different cultural practices from all over the world, by creating African masks, Chinese lanterns, Totem Poles and more. Using construction paper, markers, tape and aluminum soda cans, students can make their own special Totem Poles. Detailed instructions for creating Totem Poles in your classroom can be found on Art Tango’s website.
3. Petite Pictionary
Pictionary is fun for students of any age. However, it can be particularly educational when young students are building their vocabulary. Divide your first or second grade students into teams and give them index cards with new vocabulary words written on them. One team member must draw the word on an easel while the other teams guess what it is. Continue this action until each student has had a chance to draw. Teachers can decorate their classrooms with the drawings or send them home with students to show off to their families.
4. Mad Science
By second grade, students have started to develop a profound curiosity about the way things work. Even with limited materials, teachers can perform fun science experiments to explain new concepts to students. For example, your students can separate salt and pepper using static electricity.Have students decorate plastic spoons with a silly face or animal. Then, they will mix a teaspoon of salt and pepper together and, finally, rub the spoon with a wool cloth. Since pepper weighs less than salt, it should cling to the spoon when held over the salt/pepper mixture. And voila! Static electricity! Students can take their spoons home to wow their friends with science.
5. Bottled Carrot Tops
Growing carrot tops in a bottle is a fun lesson that you can share with your third graders. While an entire carrot does not grow in this particular activity, students will see the leafy green tops of carrots sprout in a matter of days. Simply cut the carrots, leaving about an inch or two of the tops and plant them in 2L bottles (cut in half). Before you know it, your students will have a garden of flourishing carrots tops. Teachers can bring in a camera and help students document the process. The My Buddies and I blog has everything you need to know about planting carrot tops.
6. Word Bingo
Upper elementary lesson planning focuses on building students’ vocabulary. Though repetition is critical for remembering new words and definitions, it can be mundane for fourth graders. Make learning new words fun by playing a game, such as word bingo. Your students can create their own bingo cards with a sheet of A1 paper, ruler, marker and a vocabulary list. You can provide non-expensive items, like dried beans, for bingo chips. Read out the definition of a word and let the fun ensue.
7. Let it Snow!
Are your students dreaming of a white Christmas? By fifth grade, students will likely have begun exploring atmospheric and weather changes. You and your students can decorate your classroom with giant snowflakes, found in this tutorial by Let’s Lasso the Moon. But remember, no two snowflakes are the same!
8. Explore your World
Everyone loves a field trip. Get your middle schoolers out of the classroom and to a nearby park. Alone, or in pairs, send them on a scavenger hunt to connect scientific terms with everyday objects. Students can then collect samples to use in a classroom science fair, showcasing best uses for some of the scientific terms. Teachers can download the complete scavenger hunt or create their own.
9. Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
High school teachers can have their students practice their writing, research and editing skills by creating a newspaper. Students can be broken up into groups, or work individually, to tackle their section of the newspaper. Sections include sports, business, current events and entertainment.
10. The Civil War for 400
No matter what age your students are, learning can be made fun by turning lessons into games. Create a Jeopardy-style gameshow for any subject area with questions of varying degrees of difficulty. Students can also make up their own Jeopardy questions for other classes to answer.
Are you looking for fun, educational activities for your students to do in class? Creatubbles features creative work from children all over the world, so you can easily see what students, from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, are making. Your students can also create their own personal accounts to share projects that they’ve made with kids in Japan, Belgium, Nepal, Bangladesh, Italy, Bahrain, the US and other countries.
Do you have any inspirational lessons that you want to share? Feel free to add them to the comments section below.
Creatubbles™ is the safe global community for creators of all ages. Save, share, discover and interact with multimedia creativity portfolios
Creatubbles ™ è la comunità sicura e globale per i creatori di tutte le età. E' lo spazio ideale, adatto a bambini, famiglie e insegnanti, per salvare, condividere, scoprire e interagire con portfolio creativi e multimediali.