The last post about using everyday items in the classroom, I talked about paper plates. Boy, do I love my paper plates! Today I wanted to share with you another one of my favorite things...paper airplanes. Wait, what? You allow your students to make and fly paper airplanes in the classroom? You bet!
The other day I had some notes that my students needed to know about how to write a really awesome body paragraph in our essays. It was a lot of information to front-load on them. I knew that if I had just given them the notes and talked about them, they were not going to retain anything I taught them.
I had recently attended a workshop from the Writing Academy. If you haven't gone to it, you totally should. In our training we used a paper airplane to write our notes on. First, we made the airplane and put our names on them. We wrote down one thing from our notes page that we thought was interesting, and then that's when the fun began. After they had their sentence written, my students chunked the airplanes into the air and it was mass chaos for a few seconds. We found an airplane that was not ours and read what the first person had written. We then added a second sentence from our notes that was different then the first. We did this about five times before we tried to find our original airplane back.
Not only were my students engaged in the lesson, but they also had read over their notes quite a few times. They read what the other students had written, and they also had to read their notes page over and over to find new information to add.
My kids had so much fun doing this activity, and based on my observations the next day, they totally understood what they needed to include in their essays. Have you ever used this strategy before? We would love to hear about it!
Did you find this strategy helpful?
Laura Gokey is the owner of The Learning Tree and is working towards her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Regent University. She currently lives in Livingston, TX with her husband of fourteen years and her two children.