Getting kids engaged with their learning is not an easy task, but is always worth it. They’ll have more fun learning, grasp concepts faster, and retain the information longer. Providing physical objects and letting students use their creativity to design solutions is a great way to get them engaged in the lesson. Try out one of these hands-on activities to see what they create.
Some students will be more hesitant to engage in hands-on activities. Giving them a clear goal allows them to make their own unique solution. CO2 dragsters are a great way to get kids engaged, using their imagination, and learning physics concepts such as aerodynamics, mass, friction, resistance, and gravity.
Need an activity that doesn’t require power tools? Try building a one-story model house kit with your students. They’ll learn about different types of lumber, building codes, mass, force, and gravity, and the importance of following a set of instructions in order - otherwise their house may collapse!
For the younger set, or those with wild imaginations, provide them with some LEGOs or a K’NEX building set and see what they create! You can leave this as an open-ended activity or give them a project to replicate. Even better, present them with a problem and ask them to build a solution.
If you have a class of older or more advanced students, building can still be creative and hands-on, even when using a computer. Start by engaging the creative mind to build a design using the computer and specialized software. They can create anything from a wooden sign to a vinyl label. Then, they can transfer the design to a laser or vinyl cutter and bring it to life. Finally, they can use their hands to fine-tune the finishing details of their very own creation.
Soft Skills from Hands-On Learning
Making things with your hands requires the use of core academic skills including math, physics, chemistry, history, and social sciences. When working in a group, students also develop communication, teamwork, and problem solving skills. In becoming well-rounded individuals they’ll also work on their physical conditioning and analysis skills. Whether they choose to view their building skills as a stepping stone to a trades career, or prefer to use the planning and problem-solving skills in leading others in the corporate world, they’ll have many opportunities to be successful in their future careers and personal lives.
Bring Hands-On Activities to Your Classroom
Engaging students in their learning is the key to long-term education and retention. By taking a hands-on approach to lessons, children get to involve themselves and make personal connections to the content. Not only will they remember the lesson for longer, they’ll also have an easier time understanding the difficult concepts and enter into deeper learning that really sticks with them.
We would love to see how these activities work in your classroom. Tag us on Facebook and Twitter to share what your students are creating! What other ways do you like to get kids involved in what you’re teaching?