Preparing the classroom, planning activities, making seating charts and determining a system to decide upon consequences for rules are all part of a teacher’s job to ensure his or her students learn and learn well. The main part of your job, however, is to teach students. You are expected to help make children not only good students but also good citizens. As such, the main tool that will help you build their characters is your lessons.
Having themed lesson ideas helps your students in learning more about the theme in question. In addition, however, you can also teach students about working and playing together and build a sense of community in them.
Here are some themed lesson ideas that you can use in your classroom.
One of the best ways to teach children humane lessons is to have an animal themed lesson with an emphasis on being humane. These lessons capture a child’s imagination, heart and attention in ways that mere moralistic teachings may not. You can have lesson plans based around care and compassion for dogs, pet care, feelings of animals, visits to the vet, bird-friendly habitats and much more. Activities can be based on books, visits to or assignments with animal shelters, identification of pet care professions and much more. With lessons themed around animals, you can be sure of educating a generation of students to be more aware of the world around them and the different species that inhabit it and how to interact with those species in a humane manner.
Cinco de Mayo
This is a great way to introduce your students to Mexico and its culture. You can have vocabulary cards, create word walls and have learning centres based in Mexico. Use the National Geographic website to create a lesson plan that informs your students about the geography of Mexico. Devise a lesson plan to teach them about El Dia de Los Muertos or the Day of the Dead. Make a Mexican poncho with your class to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Teach your students how to make a star or donkey piñata. Explore the history of the country and learn about all its states by playing different games. There are plenty of lesson plans and ideas online to help you tweak your own work.
Since November is the National American Indian and Alaska Heritage Month, you can use that month to have lesson plans themed on Native American heritage and culture. Use the theme to teach science, math, art teaching and social studies. As a class activity, use the Native American Talking Stick storytelling tradition. Play games such as Artifact Puzzles, in which students pretend that they are archaeologists and have discovered different artefacts. They then go on to try to figure out what the artefacts are and what use they found in Native American society and culture. Build lessons and activities around how the First Americans live today including their daily activities, celebrations, beliefs and values. Get students to show how the Native Americans used pictographs by creating a clay pot story.
Teach environmental awareness to your students through lesson plans themed on Earth Day. Organize activities that deal with trash and recycling, conservation of natural resources and alternative sources of energy among others. You could have your students host a solar cookout to demonstrate the use of solar energy. Make recycling part of your daily classes by turning plastic jugs into bird feeders, collecting recyclables for art projects, hunting trash around the school, show pictures of wildlife entangled in garbage and get sanitation workers to come and talk to your students about garbage and recycling. Design lesson plans around pollution and its effects and how we can help reduce it.