Human beings have an attention span of under 8 seconds. This is less than a goldfish.
Therefore, if you want to keep your students engaged you should ensure that you think creatively about your teaching methods.
Being creative in the classroom can significantly improve the learning outcomes of your students.
Do you find coming up with creative teaching ideas regularly is too hard? Check out our creative activities to engage students below!
1. Innovative Assumption Busting
Making assumptions about things is perfectly normal. However, it can also make you a lazy thinker.
We often take things for granted with any questions. You should challenge your students to think about the assumptions they make about the world.
Take a random concept. For example, a hamburger. What assumptions do you make about it?
- You get it at a fast-food chain e.g. Mcdonalds.
- It’s unhealthy
- There’s a beef patty inside.
Now, what if the above assumptions weren’t true? By busting these assumptions, you can stimulate creative thinking.
This may cause you to come up with the notion of a vegan burger or an expensive fine-dining restaurant that serves hamburgers.
2. Learning Through Role-Play
Role-playing allows your students to adopt the role of a person under particular circumstances. This gives them the chance to apply what they have learned in class.
Since the role-play activity takes place in a safe environment, students can build confidence in experimenting with new ideas. You’ll be amazed by the creative problem-solving that can emerge in role-plays.
Role-play also encourages your students to listen to each other carefully. When they listen to each other, they give themselves the opportunity to learn from one another.
3. Get Creative with Story-Boards
When your students are presented with an idea or problem, the number of creative thoughts come flooding into their minds. It’s not always easy to see how they relate to each other.
Story-boarding allows your students to organize and present their thoughts visually for other people to comprehend. This also encourages cooperation between students as they play off each other’s ideas.
Simply set up a board whereby students can pin up index cards for each concept or idea. Encourage your students to structure the board in any manner they feel is appropriate.
4. Flip Classroom on Its Head
The relationship between a teacher and student is central to learning. In the traditional dynamic, the teacher stands at the front of the classroom instructing the students. But, what if you flipped this around?
In the flipped classroom, students are asked to prepare presentations or lectures themselves to deliver to the rest of the class. This switches the classroom dynamic to student-led learning.
5. Ask the Big Questions with the Five Ws
Also known as the Kipling Method (after the English writer Rudyard Kipling), the Five Ws challenges students to think about every angle of the problem.
The Five Ws stand for:
- How? (always forgotten)
This is an important tool for investigating something. You can easily forget to examine each aspect of the problem before making any conclusions or decisions.
6. Try the SCAMPER Technique
The SCAMPER technique is essentially a checklist.
This is an excellent method for looking at a familiar concept or problem in a new light. By asking the right questions, you can creatively think differently.
- Substitute – What can be substituted?
- Combine: What can be combined?
- Adapt: What can be adapted?
- Modify: What could be changed?
- Put to other uses: How can it be applied to a different use?
- Eliminate: What can be got rid of?
- Rearrange: What can be rearranged?
By examing a problem or idea with these questions, you can stimulate creative thought about something.
7. Move the Classroom Outdoors
The natural world has been found to stimulate creative thinking. And yet, around 90 percent of people spend more 22 hours indoors each day.
You’d be surprised about the impact changing the classroom environment can have on the creativity of your students.
Whenever you have the chance to take your students outdoors, jump at the opportunity. This could be a field trip or a “walk and talk” lesson.
8. Bring Technology Into the Classroom
Studies have found that students spend up to 20 percent of the time in the classroom texting friends, browsing the internet and checking social media.
This is a never-ending fight for teacher’s trying to engage distracted students. And yet, bringing smartphone technology into the learning process could help.
You can encourage your students to do research on their smartphone devices during lessons. This can take advantage of the benefits of mobile devices.
You can also bring technology into the classroom with science in motion. This allows your students to experiment with lab equipment to bring science to life.
9. Recall Activities to Improve Memory
Do your students appear to immediately forget everything you’ve taught them?
This is because we learn through repetition. You need to adopt recall activities to reinforce the learnings from the previous day.
This could include asking your students to explain a concept from the previous lesson to the rest of the class. Or, getting your students to reflect together in groups on what happened the day before.
Creative Teaching Ideas
It’s not always easy to keep your students engaged and focused in the classroom. You need to keep coming up with new methods to maintain their interest.
These creative teaching ideas can help you to stimulate your students and improve learning outcomes.
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