In the age of social media, mobile apps, and other readily available sources of stimulus, getting students fully engaged in a classroom lesson can be difficult. Competing with a smartphones and modern technology is quite a challenge, and typical classes with books can be treated by the kids as a necessary and boring learning process.
What can you do to involve your students more in the classroom? The key will be to take the things they like best and use them cleverly in different kind of social studies activities. That will make the kids not only enjoy it more, but also remember more.
The best recipe for an engaging lesson and making it more fun is a movement. A bit of physical activity can be a good variety to social studies. They lead to increased focus and commitment. They also help in developing non-verbal communication and coordination skills. For example, you can ask a question with two possible answers and ask to stand up or stay on the bench according to the option you choose. A few of these types of activities will give students more energy. Another good idea is role play where your pupils show how they understand certain issues. This will not only break the monotony but also increase creativity and the ability to work with others.
Famous characters and stories will interest students so using multimedia like YouTube, can be an attractive diversion if you dose it well. It is worth using videos with characters, games, and series that the kids like if they only illustrate the issues in some way. Sure, not everything is good here, but using this method once in a while will make it easier for you to speak their language to them and increase your commitment in class. Some teachers illustrate sociology with situations from online games. After such classes, a group of students is often left with a handful of questions.
Many students are reluctant to take lessons in the form of a lecture, because they force them to sit alone and listen in silence, despite the fact that their peers and friends are sitting next to them. If the topic could benefit in any way from a little group work, we shouldn’t hesitate to introduce it. Group tasks, discussion in pairs, work on projects – no matter which type you prefer, the amount of additional involvement in the lesson due to these activities is enormous. Especially for less daring students for whom sharing their opinion will be much easier in a smaller group.
Computer games at first may be associated with the opposite of learning, but there are actually hundreds of simple and useful games that can be used in almost any lesson program. Topics like programming benefit greatly because it is fun to introduce students to very advanced concepts without being discouraged. As long as the game is relevant to the topic, it’s worth a try!
If you want to make social studies more fun and increase classroom engagement, you can introduce modern technologies and devices, such as educational robots. This way of learning makes students interact directly with technology and become familiar with concepts that would be much more difficult to understand from theory alone.