8 Tips for Educators to Make Learning Fun 

Aug 17, 2020 by

While some learners can listen attentively to lectures and receive a world-class education, most students require a more interactive experience. How can you make learning more fun for students, whether you’re a teacher by profession or a newly ordained homeschool parent? 

As you make your lesson plans for the coming year, the following best practices will help your learner get the most out of their school hours. By immersing them in experiences, they’ll form memories and bridge neural connections. Here are eight activities you can integrate to make learning fun. 

1. Engage All the Senses

Old-fashioned lectures assume that all students are auditory learners. While some schools of thought recognize only four learning styles, other educators identify eight, and you benefit from engaging them all. 

One way to do so involves sensory exploration. For your youngest learners, try adding substances with various textures to opaque plastic bags and have them guess the contents by feel. Let older students create a multisensory presentation by adding background music to a Prezi. 

2. Give Children Choices

Would you react better if your boss plopped an assignment on your desk and said, “Do this now,” or provided a rough list of to-dos, but let you prioritize them? When you give kids the power to choose, they take a higher level of ownership toward their assignments. As a result, they exert more effort and get more out of the project. 

This suggestion doesn’t mean you can’t guide their choices. When teaching an economics lesson, you might let students choose between balancing a checkbook or writing a paragraph about how to do so. Either way, you make learners demonstrate knowledge, but via a modality that works for their unique intelligence. 

3. Make It Experiential 

Experiential learning uses direct experience and focused reflection for developing skills and wisdom. Many traditional educational models followed a trickle-down approach where the lecturer imparted pieces of knowledge to students like so many drops in a bucket. 

However, experiential learning lets children discover things for themselves. Instead of telling kids how a plant grows from a seed, you allowed them to nurture one from seedling to garden. You can give them pointers before they begin and coach them through the project but do so Socratically. If a nasturtium doesn’t sprout, ask your student what they thought went wrong instead of jumping in with suggestions. 

4. Encourage Collaboration 

One of the toughest challenges facing people during the coronavirus shutdown is getting used to doing things solo that they’d traditionally participate with a group. If you had to push yourself off the couch to do an at-home Zumba routine when you used to adore hanging out at the gym, you know that working with others encourages you to achieve more. 

What if you are homeschooling this fall? You can still use collaborative learning, but you’ll have to give learners a scaffolding for how the process works. It’s okay to use a day of class time to learn how to get various equipment to connect and review team roles for things like Google groups. 

5. Take Things Outdoors 

If your learner follows a naturalist learning style, you might find them gazing out the window longingly instead of paying attention to their recorded video lecture. Why not take learning outdoors? 

If you think you can’t create a nature-based lesson for nearly any subject, think again. Older students practicing writing skills can draw inspiration from Thoreau’s “On Walden Pond” and pen reflections. Math students can estimate the total number of leaves a tree has by counting one branch’s worth and creating an equation. 

6. Apply Real-World Scenarios

Do you remember saying, “Why do I need to learn algebra? I’m not going to become a mathematician!” Imagine if your teacher replied by informing you that someday, you’d need to learn how to modify a recipe to feed numerous folks with unique dietary needs? You may have seen the applicability of the knowledge. 

Keep your learners engaged by applying what they learn to real-world situations. If you ask history students to read the Preamble to the Constitution, make the ensuing discussion relevant by asking how the principles apply to current events like the widespread Black Lives matter protests. 

7. Keep Students Moving 

Some students are kinesthetic learners, which means that they retain information when they move their bodies. However, this principle doesn’t end with the littles. Among adults who used a standing desk, 43% reported performance improvements after a year. Young brains need ample oxygen-rich blood flow, so keep P.E. class as part of your homeschool curriculum — bump it up to every day of the week instead of two. 

8. Provide Adequate Time and Coaching

Think back to the last time you crammed for an exam. How much do you recall about the subjects covered? Chances are, not too much. 

Your students need time to absorb the instruction you provide. They also require you to circulate and provide one-on-one coaching in the traditional classroom. By providing fun activities, you keep other learners on-task while helping students work through individual sticking points. 

Make Learning More Fun With These Eight Tips 

It doesn’t matter if you return to the traditional classroom or take a homeschool approach for 2020. The eight tips above will help you make learning more fun for your students. 

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