As teachers ourselves, we know exactly how busy teachers can be. That’s why we also know that sometimes despite our best intentions, it’s 5 minutes before class and you have no idea what you’re going to do.
We’ve all been there. That’s why we put together this list of last minute lesson activities to get you out of the woods and back into the race – or simply to give you breathing time so you can figure out what your next move is. These quick and fun lesson ideas will help you keep your classroom calm.
The best part is most can be student-directed, so they can take charge of their own learning while you relax and get prepared.
Toontastic is a cool free app where students create and narrate their own cartoons. It has apps for mobile devices like phones and tablets as well as computers. It’s free to download and no login is required.
Turn Toontastic into a last minute lesson by connecting it with classwork. Ask students to recreate a scene from the text you’re studying, imagine the moment a scientific topic was discovered or capture a moment in history. Share the cartoons with the class to reinforce everyone’s knowledge.
Flipgrid is a great online app that allows students to record a video of themselves responding to a set topic or question. Students can add stickers to their video, and post it to a shared online Grid where other class members can see and interact with it.
Ask students to choose a concept you’ve been studying that they’re confident with and explain it as if they were teaching it. Split the lesson time between recording and watching other students’ videos. Screening the videos for all students lets them brush up on concepts they’re not confident in as well as demonstrate their knowledge.
As a teacher, it gives you nice analytics like ‘total hours of learning time’ which make the whole activity feel worthwhile to both you and your students.
Miro is a collaborative brainstorming whiteboard. It’s really easy to set up a board for your class and have them all join with one link. Great for reflections on a film or text you have just watched or read.
Put in 5-6 questions or topics each in a different coloured shape, eg. key ideas, characters, themes, pivotal moments and why they’re significant, links or similarities to other films/texts you have discussed.
Get students to answer each of the questions using their own online post-its. Then, split students into groups and have them organise the ideas for one of the questions. Export the final product as a PDF and send to students or yourself for later reference!
Kahoot is an online collaborative quiz site. Players login on their device using a private game code, and participate in the quiz being projected onto a big screen at the front of your class. It’s free to use, with no login required for students which makes it quick to set up, and there are thousands of quizzes already available to save you some time!
Students will love the competition, and it’s a good way to test the knowledge of the class.
There you have it; 4 quick lesson ideas to use at the drop of a hat. Give one of these a try if you are short on time, and allow yourself a few minutes to breathe while your students work away.
If you have any suggestions for other great apps you use or successes with these apps in the classroom, please let us know in the comments below, share in our community, or send us an email!