Lucky enough we have developed some tricks of the trade on how to really make those lessons exciting for both students and teachers. Check out the following tips to make educator resources that translate best from paper to practice:
Our number one rule is CREATIVITY
- Creativity comes from one place: brainstorming. Sit down and write out all the crazy ideas you have for a lesson—maybe you want students to jump up and down on their desks to test gravity, or run around the hall playing a game of tag to understand how molecules work.
- Take your ideas to the moon without fear of judgment. When you have a long list, bring your ideas back down to “sky” level by making them more practical—you will be surprised by how many new, innovative, and creative lesson ideas you will have!
- Check out the principles of design thinking for some more tips on brainstorming effectively http://dschool.stanford.edu/dgift/.
Take advantage of TECHNOLOGY
- We are in the 21st century, which means that technology is totally accessible and can be leveraged to create some amazing educational resources.
- Scour the web for interesting images, videos, infographics, audio, apps, and programs that are relevant to the educational topic. Students tend to pay attention more when resources are interactive and entertaining, which makes technology a great resource in the classroom.
- Hint—a great place to look these days for lesson ideas is Pinterest. Try it out here: http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=lesson%20plans.
- The best way to learn is by doing. Piggy back off your brainstorming session by grounding your lessons in experiential learning—let students touch, hear, see, and interact with the topic.
- If you are writing educational resources about weather or seasons, have the students go outside and collect leaves, flowers, or grass. Encouraging students to interact and become part of the lesson drives home the topic and keeps students engaged.
Don’t be afraid to keep it fresh. Depending on what you are working on, incorporating things like pop culture or history references might be appropriate and help keep the lesson relatable and interesting to both students and teachers.