If you have been teaching for a long time, you have most likely found yourself repeating your lesson plans – perhaps for a number of years. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, so long as your new class enjoy the lessons too. But sticking to the ‘same old’ year in and year out can get boring. It can also be difficult coming up with ideas to spice up your lesson plans… So we’ve put together a few hints and tips you can use to create something fresh!
Play party games in class
While normally reserved for the end of term days when there’s nothing much left to be done, board games or party games can be engaging, interactive and fun- and if used right, can be educational too. They’re also fun for both younger and older kids- if anything older students would probably enjoy the unexpected change even more!
Board games are great no matter what you teach. A game like Pictionary would be great for English or Art classes, or for younger students a classic game of snakes and ladders can help them learn their numbers. Charades is also a good choice for any language classes, and works equally well in Drama. It’s a cliché, but you really can have fun and learn something new at the same time…
Have the students teach each other, and you!
This one is great because not only does it get them learning, but it gives you an extra break in the middle of your day- two birds with one stone! In all seriousness, though, having a student led period for all or part of a lesson puts the responsibility of their own education on the pupils, something which studies have shown is a really effective way of boosting recall on different topics. It also works with all different subjects.
You could even partner up your class with an older or younger class and see what they can teach each other!
Role playing games
Role play, obviously, is where you pretend to be something you’re not- essentially, acting. But it isn’t just for Drama lessons! The idea can be applied anywhere. In a French class, for instance, your students could pretend to be ordering food in a restaurant or drinks in a cafe. Dramatic readings go hand in hand in English Lit classes.
The point of role playing is that it gets the kids thinking about the real world applications of what they’re learning- something which has always been sorely lacking in the classroom. This keeps them engaged and focused, but it’s also great fun.
These are just three ideas, but there are hundreds of things you could do- scavenger hunts, mad-libs, creating video essays, hosting a game show style quiz, slam poetry… Okay, maybe some of those ideas are a bit much, but they really could work if you keep them on topic and educational. The only limit really is your imagination.