Boosting Your Lesson Plans
Are you growing tired of repeating the same lessons and activities year after year? Are you currently stuck in a unit that lacks a little bit of luster? Are you beginning to notice your students losing interest?
If you can relate, your lesson plans may need a little boost! Sometimes as teachers we can get stuck in a routine and think that maybe there is only one way to create our lesson plans. Perhaps we think that we have to stick to a certain “formula” so that the kids can get the most out of the material provided. But sometimes, that formula lacks enthusiasm after be repeated so many times! So what is a way to give pre-existing lesson plans that extra push to bring them from average to excellent?
With any lesson plan, there is always an opportunity to enrich. The challenge is deciding just how to enrich without changing the main objective of the lesson. With pre-existing lesson plans, there is always the opportunity to get up and move! Incorporating a physical activity and some movement, or even a game, will peak the students’ interest and keep them engaged in the material. Perhaps you’re exploring different civilizations in social studies or topics in science and you need a change of pace in the lesson. Try some Interactive PowerPoints! (Check out the link at the end of the post!) Also, changing work from independent to partnering or small group work can also transform a lesson plan, providing opportunities to interact with other students and collaborate to form new ideas.
There are many tools and ideas to enhance your lessons, but my favorite strategy is incorporating graphic organizers. Graphic organizers can be used across the board in all subjects, which is what makes them so versatile and so easy to use in lesson plans that have already been written!
With graphic organizers, teachers can find resources that are relatable to the students, and that is one of the best ways to boost lesson plans—get the students involved and keep them interested. If the students are just writing a simple summary on a blank sheet of paper, they might fall short, becoming bored or not working their hardest. However, if the students are given a graphic organizer that asks them to create their own website to summarize the story, including details such as a URL, a photo, and a catchy opening, they can relate to that! Our students today are incredibly tech-savvy and know exactly what to do.
Maybe your students need to write their opinions on a specific topic. Take the OREO approach and use a graphic organizer instead of having the students just write an essay! Students will write an Opinion, a Reason, an Explanation, and another Opinion, boosting both their writing skills and enriching their learning environment. And for an added bonus, why not bring in some Oreos?!
The best part about graphic organizers is how easy they are to adapt to any lesson. These are instantly editable, meant to suit any lesson plan you may already have laying around that just needs a little “oomph.” Say, perhaps, that you’re teaching a lesson on how to brainstorm ideas for an essay. Instead of just having students jot down ideas on a list, provide them a graphic organizer that’s all about brainstorming, complete with thought bubbles! Let them add some color to it, share their thoughts with their classmates, display their work on a bulletin board. The possibilities with graphic organizers are endless!
If you'd like to give your lesson plans a boost, check out the link below!
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