Lessons in the classroom can become mundane, and lose students' interest. When educators introduce lessons in the form of projects, students are given the ability to demonstrate their knowledge on the topic at hand in many creative ways, which will keep them engaged in the daily lessons. English classes can become repetitive with the same assignments such as book reports, spelling tests and research papers.
In an English classroom, students are often taught about different genres in literature, including autobiographies. A perfect way for teachers to introduce autobiographies and to ensure that students understand the importance of this genre is for students to create their own. The autobiographical projects do not have to be lengthy but can be created to look like a book, or the cover of a book. Students should include personal information such as birth dates, hometowns, hobbies, goals, likes and dislikes and information about their families. Students can get creative with these projects and may want to add illustrations, photos, and quotes from friends or family. This project works as a great icebreaker for the beginning of the school year, and helps teachers and students get to know one another.
Today's generation revolves around technology, not only in the classroom, but in almost every aspect of a student's life. Teachers can keep students engaged by using the technology that students love so much. Students can be given creative freedom in which to present the information they have gathered. Creating a social network page is extremely creative and it is something that students may not expect, which in turn will ensure that they are interested and willing to do the assignment. If a teacher wants her classes to research famous people, the students can do the research and then set up the information to look like the popular social networking sites, Facebook or MySpace. Students should be instructed to design a piece of poster board to look like the profile page, and include pictures, important facts, hobbies and important events from the life of the person they have researched.
After students read a book, they can be instructed to create a board game. This project will ensure that the students understand what they have read and the board game can also be used as an innovative study tool. Students can create their own game boards by drawing a path of squares on pieces of poster boards. Each square should contain a different command such as "define this word" or "draw a question card." The poster board should be decorated in relation to the book containing pictures of the characters, the setting or events that take place in the story. Students can roll the die, move their game pieces to the corresponding square and follow directions. Some squares may ask students to define a vocabulary word or students may be given other commands that require them to properly answer a question about the book. Students can play the game in groups and the first student to answer all of the questions correctly and make it to the end will win a prize.
It is important for students to understand different types of writing such as descriptive writing, persuasive writing and informative writing. There are many different ways a teacher can present this information, and many ways, other than a typical essay, that a student can show that she understands the concepts. Students can keep a writing portfolio in which all types of writing are kept together to create one project, demonstrating the knowledge of all writing styles. Students can write ads for specific items to practice descriptive writing; they can write commercials or songs for persuasive writing; and they can create public service announcements for informative writing.
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