Livelier Classes - Ten Quick Ideas
- Agree - Disagree Game - Dialectical Thinking
- Crossword Puzzles
- Provocative Questions
- Scavenger Hunt
- Storm the Board - Ask a question. Have at least enough chalk or whiteboard pens for half the class. Ask the entire class to storm the board to write their answers to that question. What you do after that sort of depends on the question. Make categories. Make poetry. Turn it into a "What do we need to know?" session. . . . .
- For reviewing: Play
Jeopardy using play money, answers, and money
amounts covering the answers to review either grammar or facts about a
book. This can be done on the computer ahead of time if you have a
- For reviewing: Class Mixer: Have a stand-up and move-around “mixer” in which
everybody gets the name of a character or concept or author on his/ her back and must use questions
that can only get “yes” or “no” answers to figure out who they are. Have plenty so people who solve theirs can do
another one. I print each name on half of an 8 by 11 piece of paper and use safety pins to attach to backs.
- Jigsaw: Each student reads one of four to eight articles or parts of articles and then moves
around finding people who have read the other parts. Each one listens to fellow students tell about the
other article/ sections and then writes down a paraphrase. Keep going until students have
completely understood all articles/ sections.
- Ask students to make posters about discrete topics which you are covering (vocabulary, grammar, rules for documentation, questions to ask to generate ideas . . . ). Give them large sections of butcher paper and lots of colored pens. Ask pairs of students to make a poster and then teach the concept to the class. For example, students write a grammar rule, then
show an error and the same sentence done correctly. They then present these grammar rules to
the class in a very short teaching demo.
I keep the posters and put them up around the room when the
students are taking the test related to this material.