Creative Curriculums in Elementary Schools
Oct 5, 2014 Teaching Methodology 2914 Views
Numerous adults look back fondly on their days as a child. Many of us remember the names of our elementary schools, but few of us remember our teachers. For those of us who do look back, we can often place one specific instructor who made a significant impact on our young, developing minds. So, teachers, here are some tips on how to make an impact on your students!
Incorporate art into the classroom and the curriculum. Hands on projects that rely heavily on imagination are not only out of the box and fun, but take learning to a deeper level. There are thousands upon thousands of crafty ideas for decorating and organizing the classroom.
Some ideas for creative learning include:
- Reader's theater, where a group of students put on a miniature play about a book that they have read in class
- Finger paint illustration, having the students illustrate what they have read in their own way
- Improvisation, getting the children to act out lesson plans on the fly
Any sort of out-of-the box lesson plan used in elementary schools can cultivate imagination, innovation, and ingenuity.
Most of us remember instructors that were truly enamored with their area of study. When a teacher is passionate about their lessons, it shows. Whether you're a science teacher, literature teacher, or PE teacher, let your genuine excitement show. Transforming your learning environment to reflect your passions is another great way to engage students. For instance, if you are a science teacher and the lessons for this month focus on photosynthesis and plants, integrate real plants into your lesson plan, cover the area with plant decorations, or turn your classroom into a giant plant. Remember, if your space prohibits major alterations, imagination can go a long way!
The best way to make an impact in elementary schools is to get your students involved in the lessons. Allowing your students to interact with the curriculum and the space on their own terms allows them to learn in their own way. Let your students decorate one of your bulletin boards, let them retell the story their way (as opposed to summarizing), or let them teach you the lesson! Do anything you can to engage the minds of your students.
A good rule of thumb is the rule of improv acting: never say no. Don't take this literally, as you still need to be a firm authority figure and promote the safety of your students. Take this to mean that you shouldn't shut down lines of thinking. Take a student's answer and have them continue, adding "yes, and" or "why did you think that?" Push your students to communicate their thoughts and justify their answers, as analytic thought and well-developed communication skills will get them far in life.