Teaching is an art and because of this a teacher should be creative enough to present her topic in various innovative methods. Learning could be fun if the teacher is creative in her audio-visual tools.
There are basic things however that should be considered. These are the number of learners (is it a large or small group?) The learner’s needs (detailed concept or generalized knowledge?) and the objective of the didactic activity (is it to enhance a topic or is it for the completion of the subject/course?). All of these should be looked into before deciding on what creative tool to use.
Here are some creative teaching tools that could be useful:
1. Self-suggested tool from the child
To internally motivate a child, you could ask ideas from him of how he could understand the lesson better. Ask him the question, “If you were to present this topic, what material would you use?” This would imply that he is an active participant in his learning process and that learning is a two way process.
Gone were the days where the teacher takes all the center stage while the student listens to her drone on about the lesson. More and more schools now recognize pragmatism with the student as the center of learning as a more effective method in the teaching-learning process.
Asking him the question would make your tool more effective. If they are many in the class, then, as much as possible, everyone should be given the chance to contribute. The consensus of the whole class would then be determined for the final tool.
2. Name Game
This is a method that could be employed when the lesson is on simple recall, like when you want students to remember the capital of each State, etc.
You could form smalls groups of 6-10 students. Each student is tasked to remember one State and its capital. Whenever he is called upon, he would state the State and its capital. To increase the fun, you could have a timer set for each student. Allow this first round for several minutes until mastery is achieved. The second round would require the student to name another State aside from his own and then third round, three States, and so on.
3. Make use of symbols, vivid pictures , charts or maps
Text is usually “boring” to students, but when they see vibrant colors, their interest is perked up. Do not just pick any picture. Take time to browse in the net or make someone else draw them particularly for your topic. Pictures are more retained in a student’s mind than plain text.
4. Interactive CAI (computer aided instructions)
A student is motivated when he is required to participate actively. Preparing a lesson that allows this would achieve more learning.
You could prepare the lesson through the computer with the aid of a computer expert. If this is expensive for you then you could prepare your own through simple programs like Educational Resources Information Center ( ERIC ) http://eric.ed.gov/, or through ECS testSmart http://www.educyberstor.com/store/ecs/catalog/testhelp/tss.html.
These are programs that could help you prepare your CAI.
Proper instruction should be given to students before they commence using the program. As the student progresses in the lesson, he should be allowed to ask questions from the teacher. An interactive quiz maybe given after the activity. The students would learn more if it is interactive as individual questions raised by the student are answered promptly.
5. Video presentation
Moving objects are more interesting to students than stationary pictures. You could create a video yourself, or ask help for the technical aspect of the preparation.
You could enhance the video to incorporate outside sources (like you tube, TV sources, etc).
6. Role playing
The students could role play the topic. Group them into 6-10 students and give them a specific topic from the lesson to role play. They could present this complete with costumes and sound effects. It would be fun watching them learn and enjoy themselves.
7. Jingles/ songs
Topics could be presented in a song or jingle. I remember one student singing the life cycle of A. lumbricoides and it was real fun, and he did learn tremendously from the activity. This could be applied more effectively with younger students.
8. Group conferences/discussions
A case or problem related to the topic is answered by the group. The case/problem should be written clearly to avoid ambiguities. Be sure to provide leading questions to lead them to the correct answer. Examples are: “Discuss why the ocean is blue.” Related questions could be asked. (for science students). “Discuss your initial clinical diagnosis based on these results.” ( for college students). In order for them to arrive to the correct answer they have to answer your series of preliminary questions just like in progressive deduction.
Learn how to prepare your questions/case studies concisely and properly to obtain good answers.
9. Power point
These presentations are most convenient and easily prepared with the use of a computer and internet resources. There are several attractive templates available from your Microsoft word programs. The internet is also a source of several free templates and images which you could incorporate into your preparation.
If you are to select images from the web, select those that are animated. Images in motion are more interesting than stationary images.
There are lots of materials you could obtain for your power point presentation.
You could also end the presentation with a short quiz.
A movie that is related to the topic could be presented. Afterwards a film review should be submitted by the students, detailing the following:
10.1. Synopsis of the movie
10.2. Significance of movie to self
10.3. Significance of movie to the lesson/topic/course
10.4. Significance of movie to society
There are still various creative methods that could be employed by a teacher. The methods are limitless. It is the teacher’s rich imagination that could make the difference between a “boring” lesson and an interesting one.