Classroom Activities to Make Learning Relevant
Students often ask teachers that why they have to learn the things that are being taught? The standard response is, “You will need to know this for your future.” Maybe this is a question that should be looked upon a little more thoughtfully. If students are constantly questioning why they need to learn this information, then maybe they need to feel that what we are teaching them has some kind of purpose in their lives.
Studies show that meaningful classroom activities help students emotionally connect to things that they are already know. So, they need to know how what they are learning is relevant and meaningful. To ensure that students are provided with the opportunity to relate what they learn with the world around them, one can try the following classroom activities.
Utilize Real World Problems
When teachers plan their lectures, they should think about the problems going on in the world at that time and find a way to relate it to the lesson. For example: If the Elections are going on in the country, teachers could use the daily news and events as an example while teaching a chapter. Teachers can also engage students in a mock setup of an election news debate to make things more interactive. As long as one starts with a real-world problem in mind, then incorporate that problem and make it into a lesson that is meaningful and relevant to the students.
Use Primary Resources
If the students are being taught about Independence of India, just by reading to the class or even showing pictures, it would not create an emotional connect to that time period. Instead, you can have them read books, like, ‘Letters from a Father to His Daughter’ which is a collection of 30 letters written by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1928 to his daughter Indira Gandhi when she was 10 years old. Or, watch a movie, like, ‘Bapu Ne Kaha Tha’ (1962) which has stories about Mahatma Gandhi’s childhood. Using primary resources like these can help enlighten students and really get a feel for the living conditions during that time.
Know, Want to know, Learned (KWL)
There is a popular tool, graphic organizer that teachers use to find out what students already (K) Know, (W) Want to know, and then what they have (L) Learned. Before teachers start a lesson, find out what students already know about a topic and what they want to know. This information then helps guide the teacher to create goals and points of interest throughout the lesson. Students can then see that what they currently are learning relates to something that they already know or have experienced.
To make learning relevant, one of the most effective ways is to plan a trip. The key to making this a meaningful and relevant trip is to cross-connect what the students are currently learning in the classroom, to where the field trip will take place. For example: A 5th class teacher took her students on a field trip to the local grocery store. The students were learning about nutrition in science class, how to manage money in math class, and about civic and economic awareness in social studies class, so a trip to the local grocery would help students connect to all these topics that they are currently learning.
Invite a Guest Speaker
Bringing in a guest speaker is an effective way to make students realize what they learn inside the classroom is also relevant outside the classroom. They can help students by telling how what they use in their profession now is related to what they learnt in their classroom. It’s also a great way to show students a different point of view.
Without relevance, students may not understand how important the concepts they are learning in the classroom really are. By making learning more relevant and meaningful, we are therefore connecting what students are currently learning inside of the classroom to what is outside in the world.
This article has been taken from ‘Teach Hub’. Read the original article here.