As educators, we are always looking for ways to help our students deepen their understanding and apply their learning in meaningful ways.
Traditional teaching methods like lectures and worksheets can only take us so far, which is why it’s important to incorporate creative and engaging activities that allow students to explore their own ideas and perspectives.
Journaling, sketch-to-stretch, and writing a letter are three such activities that can help students extend and apply their learning in the classroom. In this blog post, we will explore each of these activities in more detail, including their benefits and how they can be integrated into your teaching practice.
Whether you’re looking to foster creativity, develop communication skills, or encourage critical thinking, these activities are sure to engage your students and help them take their learning to the next level.
Extend and Apply Learning with Journaling:
Journaling in the classroom is a writing practice where students record their thoughts, feelings, and reflections on a particular topic, concept, or learning experience.
The purpose of journaling is to encourage students to think critically and creatively, to explore their own ideas and perspectives, and to develop their writing skills.
Journaling can take many different forms in the classroom, depending on the teacher’s goals and objectives.
For example, students might keep a daily journal where they write about their experiences, observations, and reflections on a particular topic or theme.
Alternatively, students might use journals to respond to specific prompts or questions related to a particular lesson or unit of study.
The benefits of journaling in the classroom are numerous.
It can help students develop their writing skills, build self-awareness and self-reflection, enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and foster creativity and self-expression.
Additionally, journaling can help students develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their learning, and the world around them.
Extend and Apply Learning with Sketch-to-stretch
Sketch-to-stretch is a classroom activity that encourages students to use their creativity and imagination to visualise a story or concept through drawing.
The purpose of sketch-to-stretch is to help students deepen their understanding of a text or topic by using a different form of expression – drawing – to represent their thoughts and ideas.
During a sketch-to-stretch activity, students are typically given a prompt or question related to a text or concept, and are asked to create a drawing that represents their understanding or interpretation of the prompt.
For example, students might be asked to sketch a scene from a book they have read, or to draw a visual representation of a scientific concept they have learned.
Sketch-to-stretch is a valuable classroom activity because it engages students in a different mode of thinking and expression than traditional writing or discussion.
It can be especially beneficial for students who struggle with verbal expression, as it allows them to use their visual and spatial intelligence to represent their understanding of a concept.
Furthermore, sketch-to-stretch encourages students to engage with the material on a deeper level, as they must consider the visual elements of a story or concept and how they can represent those elements in a drawing.
This can lead to a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the material, and can also help students develop their creativity and artistic skills.
Extend and Apply Learning with Letter Writing
When students write a letter, they must consider their audience, purpose, and message, which requires them to think critically and reflect on what they have learned.
Here are some ways that writing a letter can extend and apply learning in the classroom:
- Applying knowledge: When students write a letter, they must use the information and skills they have learned in class to communicate effectively. For example, if students are learning about persuasive writing, they can apply this knowledge by writing a persuasive letter to a principal or elected official.
- Developing empathy: Writing a letter can also help students develop empathy and understanding for others. For example, if students are learning about a particular historical event, they can write a letter from the perspective of someone who experienced that event, which can help them develop a deeper understanding of the impact it had on individuals and communities.
- Engaging in real-world issues: Writing a letter can also help students engage with real-world issues and become active citizens. For example, if students are learning about environmental issues, they can write a letter to a local politician or community leader advocating for change.
- Developing communication skills: Finally, writing a letter can help students develop their communication skills, including writing, grammar, and vocabulary. By practicing writing letters, students can improve their ability to express themselves clearly and effectively, which can benefit them in all areas of their academic and personal lives.
Overall, writing a letter is a powerful way for students to apply and extend their learning in the classroom, and can also help them develop important skills and understandings that will benefit them throughout their lives