There’s a lot of information that students need to learn each year. Because of this, you’re going to have a lot of lessons that involve various assignments, lectures, lessons, readings, and more. With all that needs to be done throughout the year, you need to find ways to mix things up and make it fun. Not only will you enjoy your time student teaching in elementary school more, but your students will enjoy learning, too. Here are some of the fun ideas that you can try.
Pass the Ball
You don’t need a lot to play pass the ball. In fact, all you need is a ball. Have the students stand in a circle—either around the classroom or outside. Then, tell the students what the subject is for the game. You should give an example, and pass it to the next student who gives the next response before passing it on to the next person. Have them pass the ball around the circle until everyone has had a turn. You could also give the students a new topic as needed.
Some of the skills to practice while playing pass the ball are:
- Counting by 2s, 5s, 10s
I played the fly swatter game in foreign language classes in high school, but you can play it with any grade. All you need to do is write words all over the board. Then, divide the class into 2 teams and give each team a fly swatter. Have 1 student from each team come to the board. Give them hints and let them think about the vocabulary word that they need to find. Have them look for the answer, and see who can hit the correct answer with the fly swatter first. It could also work with sight words, math answers, history vocabulary, science terms, and more.
When learning about the solar system, my teacher dressed up as Ms. Frizzle and pretended to take us on a mini field trip through space. When learning about the Unsinkable Molly Brown, my teacher dressed up as her and told us about her life in the first-person perspective. These lessons were more interesting than lectures, and they weren’t lessons I soon forgot. Try dressing up to read a book or teach a lesson, or bring clothing for the students to use and reenact a story for you.
If you’re really looking to go the extra mile, dress up the room, too. When learning about fairytales, make a castle. When learning about the jungle, decorate the room like a jungle. Have your students help you, and they’ll enjoy the opportunity to be artistic and creative.
Do you play an instrument? Use your talents to bring your lesson to life. Write a song and teach it to the kids. Have the students write lyrics to a song as you play along. You can create a song about a subject that you’re currently studying. It’ll be a great way to help the students memorize the content. And they won’t soon forget it. My class wrote a song in 5th grade music class, and I still remember the words to this day.
Don’t just tell your students something. Show them. Science is a great subject for this. Look for science experiments that you can incorporate into your lessons. Some of the most popular experiments for elementary school include:
- Predicting whether an item will sink or float.
- Making a bouncy ball.
- Putting celery into food coloring.
- Creating a volcano using baking soda and vinegar.
Get your students moving with dramatic play. Charades is a great game to play. Divide the class into teams and have students take turns acting out vocabulary words from the lesson. Consider having 2 students act at a time in order to help students with stage fright.
You’re not required to create new and exciting lessons when student teaching in elementary school. Try these ideas, and gather ideas from other teachers to help you keep your lessons engaging for your students.