When I was in class 2, I read a story from Tom Sawyer “work can be fun”. Since I was a kid at that time, I could not extract the literal meaning from that story. But now, when I see the students in school or in coaching, I feel that they are more tired and are not ‘interested’ in lectures. They just go to school and come back, do their home work. Its purely mechanical routine. They have to be taught in a way that they find their work or the subjects’ fun. Here are some tips to make the lectures fun:
10) Interact with the students
Ever thought why we used to sleep in our history class? It was because history was not interesting. Why? Because the teacher most of the time read the lesson or s/he made us read it. When a teacher interacts with the students in class, she makes the students feel that they are an important part of the class. She knows whether they have understood or not, whether they are awake or not, whether they are interested or not. Small interactions make the class lively and give the teacher an opportunity to see whether the efforts are fruitful or not.
9) Narrate a story and not impose a chapter
Every student likes listening stories; no matter he is from a kindergarten or from MBA. If we narrate the chapter in form of a story or a case, it would be more interesting for them to understand. For example, if it is a drama class, make the students the characters of the play. Make them speak the dialogues. They would love to understand practically what is happening. If it is a science class and you are teaching organic chemistry to class 11, personify each carbon compound and make chemical reaction a story. This uses a lot of creativity, but leaves a long impact on the brains of the students.
8) Take opinions
Make everything personalized. Ask the students their opinion on everything. They should feel personally involved in the class. Say you are teaching English literature and you just finished a lesson; ask the students had they been in the shoes of the central character how would they react to the situation. Or if the lesson is about some social cause, engage into some healthy discussion about the view point of the students. Make them feel that whatever is taught to them is not only for teaching sake but also for their thought process development.
7) Decentralization of attention
It is a common practice that the concentration of the teacher is either on the brightest student or on the dullest student. The average students get neglected. First of all, each student is equally capable. They just need a push to start. When we categories the students and distribute our attention in a biased manner the so called mediocre students feel neglected and often feel disinterested in class. For them the class becomes boring as the teacher does not care about them. I am not saying that scold them or neglect the weaker ones, I just mean, give a fair chance to everyone.
6) Be informal in class
No doubt teaching is a formal job and the teacher has to be respected, you don’t need to be a professional, rather formal while teaching in class. The students want a teacher and not a dictator. Laugh in class, use informal tone. If possible use proper voice modulation and make things interesting to listen. Do not read news, be a radio jockey in class; full of life and expression. Don’t be a figure which students are afraid; be a figure that students respect and like. You can achieve this only if you are informal and unbiased in class. Your class will automatically gain students’ attention.
5) Make use of multimedia
Multimedia is a boon, a boon in every field. Remember how local TV channels used to display some motivational and informative ads; the idea behind this was when we can visualize something, we understand better and we work better. In the same way if we are able to make the students visualize, we would be able to make them understand better and therefore have more interest in class. This might include some voice clipping, some video from YouTube or something else. These days we get a lot of online tutorials for free. Just download the video and make the students see it. For example if you are teaching say Julius Caesar, you can show the students what the movie made on the play. This would give them a better understanding and they would be able to envision the characters and the flow of events.
4) Use of models and charts
I remember when I was in class 10, my biology teacher used to speak about heart and all the arteries and veins. The basic problem was I didn’t know what exactly she wants to say until one fine day she took us to lab and showed us the actual model of heart. When we use models we gain the specific of what we are exactly trying to understand and what the teacher wants to emphasize on.
We all know the effect of incentives on our performance in work. Similarly, when children are given some incentives for working hard, this will not only create a sense of competition in them, but also make them interested in the lecture. Say for example, it is a mathematics class, you tell the students who so ever solve the question first will become the prefect of the class or will get a chocolate. The students will be more than happy to solve the problem and gain that chocolate. Believe me this trick really works no matter what is the age group of the students.
Sounds absurd but yes, playing games in class makes the mind of students very sharp and the class interesting. For example, to teach homonyms to students, give them a time of five minutes and ask them to make sentences as many as they can for the words having same spelling, same pronunciation and different meanings. If you are teaching any other grammar tool say agreement of subject with the verb, take a sponge ball in class, read the sentence and throw the ball to any student. Who catches it will answer and he is expected to throw it to another student, and this is how the game progresses. This completes the objective of teaching and also makes the class fun.
1) Class activity
Variety is the spice of life. Students often look for something new every time in class; something new to learn, some new way to make boring home work fun, some new projects and sometimes something new which they wouldn’t have thought of. Every time you go to take a class, plan an activity in advance. It could be anything, as silly as a tic tack toe game or as expressive as a comic strip. Make your class do that. They will feel all the excitement you want them to feel and the class will be fun.