Students will have done lots of things since they last saw you. So you need to get their attention. Here are some motivational and fun lesson starter ideas that require minimal planning:
- Paper Aeroplanes
Give students 30 seconds to recall three main points about a particular unit, topic or even the last lesson they had with you. Have them write down their points on a piece of paper. Make a game of this, apply mock pressure as the time runs out or even have the Countdown clock counting down the thirty seconds!
Once you are satisfied with their answers get the pupils to create planes with their paper. Place a bin in the middle of the room and explain the bin represents their brains. They have to aim their planes into the bin or brain! This game can be taken further by giving a prize to the student who lands their plane first!
This exercise encourages students to recall information, while jazzing things up so they don’t actually realise they are consolidating their learning. Students will remember shooting the planes and with association the points on it.
- You say we pay
This can be a class exercise or students can be put into pairs. If using as a class exercise, show one student an image or something relevant to the topic/lesson. They then have to describe the image to the rest of the class, without saying exactly what it is. This can be made tougher by introducing taboo words that can’t be said.
- Who am I?
Classic game. Write key terms on a series of post – it notes. Stick a post it note on each pupil’s head and get them to ask their partners questions about who/what they are. Their partners can only answer yes or no.
- Bob It.
Bobbing is the art of raising yourself out of your seat a little bit then sitting back down. It is the kinesthetic equivalent of putting your hand up. Simply question the class and get them to ‘bob’ if they think it is correct. For instance, ‘World War II began in 1939.’ Mix it up with false statements to catch students out.
This is also a good way to gauge pupil’s knowledge and highlight any areas that need extra work.
These ideas should kick – start your lesson and have pupils engaged from the beginning. Remember to enjoy yourself too!