Movement is a great way to create engaging lessons. Kids have a short attention span. Keep students focused and learning by changing your instructional methods. Students engage when they have to get up and move around. Just like with any procedure or activity in the classroom, you need to set and practice your expectations first.
Adding movement to your lessons doesn’t have to be super involved or require additional planning. Use some creative thinking. I have included a few of my favorite ways to incorporate movement into lessons below.
Gallery walks are one of my favorite ways to add movement into a lesson. A gallery walk is when students explore various texts/ pictures that have been placed around the classroom. Students have a task to complete while at each stop around the room.
I find that structured gallery walks work best. To do this, assign partners/ a group of students to a certain “station.” Students must stay at that station until you tell them it is time to move. Use a timer to help keep track of rotation time.
Learning stations are another great way to get students engaged. Instead of practicing map skills on a worksheet, have students move from station to station working on various map skills. Stations can be used for all subjects. Have enough stations for students to work in groups of no more than 4. Include a technology station using classroom computers/ devices. You can also include a seat work station for students to complete a practice worksheet. Assign groups a station. Students must work at the station until it is time to rotate.
Hands-on activities are a great way to increase student engagement. My favorite hands-on activities are those that require students to learn through experimentation. STEM and STEAM activities are perfect for providing meaningful hands-on activities. Give students a challenge to solve. Here are two STEM activity examples below.
Games make learning so much fun! Use during a lesson to check understanding, as a way to practice a new skill, or to review for a test. Here are some of my favorite games.
- 4 corners (students move to a corner of the room based on their answer)
- trashcan basketball (get a question right, get a shot)
- Pictionary (play with new vocabulary words or concepts)
- Kahoot (free online competition game using devices)
- Whiteboard Relay (students work in groups to answer questions/ solve problems on the board for points)
So what are you going to try out first? I can’t wait to hear about it! If you missed the 1st part of this series, Create Engaging Lessons: Using Lesson Hooks, check out the blog post here!
Now go add some engaging activities to your lessons this week! Happy planning!