Hi I'm Sherry, and I am a primary school teacher working in Australia. Free Teacher Worksheets is my website. It is a growing collection of worksheets and lesson plans for teachers. Please feel free to use them in any early childhood, kindergarten or primary school setting.
You can use any printable as a focus or catalyst for a lesson. Here are 16 ideas on how to do that.
1. What do the students already know about it?
Before you start the lesson ask your students what they already know about the subject. Use who, what, when, why and how questions as prompts if you need to. Brainstorm information on the board. Allow lots of time for a conversation to develop and flow and encourage your students to share personal stories that relate.
2. Make a list of related words.
How many words can we think of that relate to this subject? For example a list for the subject of dogs may look like this: teeth, collar, food, water, bowl, lead, puppies, fleas, medicine, treats, bones, nails, spots, skin, wrinkles, whiskers, buckle, eyes, eyelashes, pupil, nostrils, ears, poodle, competition, tail, patches, biscuits, treats, toys, bed, basket, blanket, chain and flea powder.
Give your students lots of time to come up with ideas and they will create an ever going list. You could even challenge the class to create a list of 100 words. If it is not completed by the end of the day then part of homework can be finding more words by talking to family, reading books and looking on the internet. Alternatively see if the list can be completed by the end of the week.
3. Make a list of adjectives
Make a list of adjectives that can be used to describe the subject and elements of it. This can be a list created together in one sitting or built up over time. The will come in handy later when you use writing prompts or set writing tasks.
4. Find examples of the subject in real-life
Ask your students where there are examples of the subject in real life. Where do we find it in the classroom, at home, in the shops, in nature, under water or in space? Where would a bird see it? What would it look like to them? What would it look like to an ant?
5. Think 2-Dimensional
How can your students create a two dimensional representation of the subject? Painting, drawing, printing, cut and paste, cartooning, tearing colored paper, self -portraits and wet chalk are all possibilities.
6. Think 3-Dimensional
How can your students create a three dimensional representation of the subject? Clay, cardboard layers, cardboard structures, paper mache, sticks and glue, recycled objects, rocks and pebbles, wet sand and pasta and glue are all possibilities.
7. Write a list of questions about the subject
Ask your students what they would you like to know about the subject? This can be done individually, in small groups or on the board with the class.
8. Compare other things to the subject
Use a mix of everyday and extra-ordinary comparisons. How is it like a cat? How is it different? How is it like a singing elephant? How is it different? Anything goes. Invite ideas from the students to stretch their imagination and build mental connections.
9. How do you relate to this subject or idea?
Get personal and explore how your students feel about the subject and how it relates to them. If it was brought into the classroom how would they respond? How would their parents respond? If they could would they use it in everyday life? How? If it was given to them would they look after it or get rid of it?
10. Build a class project around the subject
Let the students work as a group to create a singular project that explores the ideas around the subject and shows others what they are learning about. It is even better if it can be used as a resource for future activities. A notice board filled with images and information, an exploration table, a large piece of artwork, a construction, a collection of words and/or ideas, a collection of student comments (add photos if possible) and a door decoration are all possibilities.
11. Take it outside
Explore the subject in the playground or around the school buildings. Go on a scavenger hunt, create a game, use the extra space to act out ideas, talk in small groups without noise restrictions, draw in chalk on the concrete, take photos or have a class discussion under a tree.
12. Look at it from a mathematical point of view
There is always some part of maths that relates well to every subject. Ask your students how they can employ maths in relation to the subject. Can they use percentages, explore geometry, talk about fractions or use measurements? Can they create word problems to be solved?
13. Use writing prompts
Use writing prompts to get students thinking about the subject and applying what they have learnt. If you have time each student could have a different prompt and then share what they have written with the class or a small group.
14. Get dramatic
Let your students use their bodies and minds to explore the subject. Invite them to create a skit, mini silent movie, dance, monologue, or conduct an interview with an expert (another student).
15. Create a mind map
Use a large piece of paper to create a mind map of all the information covered in the lesson. This could be done individually or in small groups. This can be done in one sitting or over a longer period of time and added to as new things are learnt or discovered.
16. Cover a large cardboard box with paper
Cover a large cardboard box with paper and then fill each side with information about the subject. Some of the sheets of paper could be printed with questions to be answered. A collection of these makes a great classroom display.