Integrating art into seemingly non-creative subjects like math or science may take a bit of careful planning. Add learning a language into the mix and it makes lesson planning that much harder. But, with a little bit of outside-of-the-box thinking, both you and your students will reap benefits, such as increased engagement and retention, heightened curiosity and an overall good time. We took a look at some ways to incorporate creativity into your language lessons.
1. Sidewalk Chalk Obstacle Course
This is a fun take on the traditional game of hopscotch. Instead of hopping on one leg and throwing a stone, this obstacle course gives the player instructions to perform certain actions. The game works perfectly for younger students learning a language. Simply use the vocabulary learned in class to write out the commands, and watch each student have a great time learning through play. Students can also create commands for their peers.
2. Paint Chip Poetry
Creating paint chip poetry is a good way to practice vocabulary, while creating a visual and literary work of art. Grab paint chips from your local hardware store (they’re free!) for each student in your classroom. Give them a prompt, such as “I remember_________,” or “The sky reminded me of ________.” Make sure the vocabulary is challenging for students to gain a tighter grasp of the language, but open enough that they’re able to be creative in their answers.
3. 4D Trioramas
Creating a 4D triorama is a fun way for students to learn words, or phrases, or even create their own stories. You can find the directions on how to create the 4D triorama here. How you decorate your triorama is up to your students! You can put a vocabulary word on each side of the triorama and let students describe it visually. Or, students can create their own story or book report using each triangle as a section.
4. Air a Monthly Puppet Show
Airing a monthly puppet show is a fun, ongoing activity that students can participate in throughout the semester. First, students should create the characters and the plot of the premier episode by using vocabulary provided by the teacher. New vocabulary (and characters) should be introduced as each episode progresses.
Once the first show is written and the characters are clearly defined, students get to make their own puppets! Students should also create the setting according to each story line and assigned vocabulary.
For an added bonus, film the puppet show with a camera or smartphone. Ask the school to air the puppet show if your school puts on a morning news show, send to a copy to parents and upload each episode to your students’ digital portfolios.
5. Create a collage
We recently touched base with Hanoch Piven, founder of FacesiMake, who creates and teaches the importance of collage and how to create them. For this Piven-inspired lesson, your students will be creating collages with found objects. Teachers should provide a list of objects for students to find, using new vocabulary. Once students have gathered all useful items, each will create a portrait of an interesting person using the found objects. After each portrait is completed, students can give an oral presentation about the portrait they created using the new vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure learned in this lesson.
Have you made any creations with your language students? Be sure to share them with us on Creatubbles!