Top 5 Creative Teaching Activities
Every child is unique, which means that every child learns differently – this presents challenges for teachers when creating lesson plans, especially when you factor in differentiation for varying skill levels across the classroom. Achieving those lesson objectives with creative delivery to maintain class engagement can be difficult, especially during the current pandemic, so if you’re struggling with creative lesson plans, here are five of our top creative teaching activities to give you some inspiration.
The Global Classroom
As the largest digital classroom in the world, The Global Classroom is a unique charity that endeavours to connect children from all over the world with each other, as well as connecting them with world leading experts across film, music, conservation, politics and so much more.
There are a variety of classes that you and your school can get involved with, from the Global Generations class which focuses on social discussions and skills to the One Global Body class which explores health and wellness issues.
In a world that is painfully disconnected with one another, this incredible resource allows your lesson to extend beyond your classroom and expose your class to a range of new faces and aspirational opportunities because The Global Classroom connects 150,000 schools across 193 countries.
The classes focus on rounded learning, with the charity aiming to promote resilience, independence, exploration, reflection and values. With worldwide partnerships including World Health Organisation, National Geographic and Disney, as well as previous guest appearances from global icons like singer Jason Mraz, Disney Animator Michael Woodside, and international footballer Samuel Eto’o this charity will help your creative lesson spring to life.
Find out more about The Global Classroom
Chester Zoo Educational Experience
If you’re looking to extend your curriculum beyond the classroom, Chester Zoo provides an incredible offering for schools, with packages ranging from EYFS through to university level.
With a focus on extinction and conservation education, you can choose between physical visits to the zoo or virtual zoo visits with one of the zoo’s educators. Your allocated zoo educator will provide live digital visits to animal habitats, allowing your class to meet their learning objectives from the classroom, or from their own homes if remote learning is featured in your school.
With interactive activities, a live Q&A with a zoo expert, and supporting materials for before, during and after your session, this creative teaching activity will provide an incredibly unique learning experience.
Alternative Assessment Formats
Sometimes the easiest way to deliver creative lesson plans is to hand the creativity over to the students themselves – this is a great technique because it’s free, and can be adapted to fit virtually any lesson or learning objective.
Learn to be versatile with your assessment requirements – offer choice in your classroom so that students obtain creative ownership over their work.
If you’ve just read and explored a book chapter with your students, and they’re required to produce a chapter summary, avoid the classic ‘write 150 words summarising the plot,character and themes’ – instead, set the expectation that your students need to summarise the plot, character and themes in a medium that they prefer. This could be an essay/written piece, but it could also be a poster, a storyboard, a paper sculpture, a lego design, a music playlist – the possibilities are endless.
Provide the objective, some examples, and then allow your students to take creative ownership of their work – it is likely that students will engage with this task much faster than a single option taks, because they instantly have to make a choice, and then are attached to that decision for the remainder of the task.
Explore Different Cultures
This creative technique is not contained to just one lesson – building cultural awareness into your classroom environment allows students to be regularly creative whilst increasing their cultural knowledge.
If your class is learning Spanish this year, then why not label all of your stationary supply drawers with Spanish labels instead of the English translation! From scissors to coat hooks, these translated phrases will become part of your students’ routine, encouraging cultural curiosity throughout the day whilst the passive absorption of this language will improve their language vocabulary during Spanish lessons.
You can compliment the above by celebrating world faith days and cultural holidays in the classroom, and asking your pupils to share and present family traditions. You can also extend the label translations to other lessons – enhance your cross curricular teaching by including the Spanish translations for the countries you’re studying in Geography, for example.
Reveal, cover, remember
A versatile technique that can be used in any lesson, Reveal, Cover, Remember allows your students to develop both their teamwork and their communication whilst simultaneously testing their memory and understanding of the learning objectives.
To prep this activity you need to create a large information poster for your current topic – this could be a physical poster or a digital poster presented via your whiteboard. The poster should feature lots of key facts and images/diagrams related to your current topic. Students are split into teams, and then take it in turns to memorise sections of the poste. The poster will be revealed for ten seconds before being covered again, and the student must report to their team with the aim of recreating the original poster.
This is a fantastic, active and collaborative task that will allow you to evaluate progress against your learning objectives whilst simultaneously allowing your class to have some fun.
Using the five creative teaching activities above, your creative lesson plans will inspire and engage your students in no time.