In a world of myriad distractions, retaining the attention of students is a challenge for most teachers. The younger generation needs to be taught and prepped for the world. But, how do we go about it? It is even more challenging to convey the concepts effectively to create long-lasting impressions. Thus, it has become necessary for institutions and teachers to focus on making learning fun, and interesting.
Here are a few pointers to make learning fun.
Children love technology. Apart from playing outside, children spend their time playing video games, using mobile education apps, scrolling through e-learning applications on mobiles or tablets. Research, too, indicates that implementing technology can increase learning and engagement. The present days’ educational games, learning apps for kids, personalized learning technologies, open up avenues for better learning and understanding.
Lessons and Fun Activities
As Julie Causton and Chelsea Tracy-Branson, the authors of The Educator’s Handbook for Inclusive School Practices, write: “Students would be more engaged and involved when they enjoy classroom life, laugh and feel connected with peers”. To bring in those elements in a traditional classroom setting, welcome some fun activities as a followup for lessons taught. For instance, if you are discussing a human cell, ask the students to create an illustration or make a clay model of a cell. These kinds of activities, along with making teaching fun, also improve interpersonal skills.
Incorporating hands-on learning is a great way to make learning fun. The demonstration of simple experiments can offer practical knowledge to the students while keeping them engaged. Some sample experiments to try out are.
- Discuss the density of different liquids such as water, honey, and oil by mixing them in a separate glass jar.
- Let the objects float/sink on plain water and saltwater.
The primary school students are easily distracted. A little break in such cases could do wonders. Allow them to play a quick educational game or have a one-minute dance party or a five-minute body-stretch break. This helps students bounce back to their attentive self again.
Any opportunity to take the students out of their traditional education setting is worth the effort. Students are highly receptible when taught through sensory experiences such as visually or through touch. And the field trips can provide this opportunity. If the students are being taught about vegetables or fruits, a visit to the local fruit and vegetable market can help to grasp the lesson and understand it efficiently. If the students are being taught about dinosaurs, visiting the science museum makes learning fun and lasting.
For children, roleplay is a part of real learning. It helps the students understand academics and relate it to real life. Roleplays are effective for students of almost any group but it should be customized depending on the age groups. For primary schoolers, the roleplay is best kept simple considering the short attention span they have.
For most of us, recalling a story that was watched a year back is easier than a lesson taught a month back. That’s because every movie has an engaging story. When the lessons are also introduced in the form of a story, the students will have a better retention rate. So, frame a story out of the lesson rather than explaining the concepts using chalk-and-board.
In short, to make the learning fun and interesting, involve students more. Because a higher class interaction and increased utilization of technology in classroom education could boost the students’ engagement.