Imagine an activity that takes little class time but engages students in current events and encourages them to speak with their families about what’s happening in the world. Teacher Megan Kelly longed for just such an activity and finally found it in “fantasy geopolitics.”
Author: Megan Kelly
With the goal of having new middle school students feel seen as individuals while also feeling like a part of something bigger, Megan Kelly offers activities her sixth graders enjoy while getting to know one another. The games can be expanded or contracted to fit your time.
The more students interact with the rubric, the more ownership they take over it, writes Megan Kelly. Once they feel empowered by the rubric, they can use it as a tool to accomplish their goals rather than a means of judgment, putting them on the same team as the teacher.
How can teachers be more intentional about teaching vocabulary words given the limited instructional time available? Megan Kelly shares ways she has begun to add more vocabulary instruction into small pockets of class time using focus words, drawing, GIFs, and Spot It cards.
A former English teacher, Megan Kelly is eager to discover how she can incorporate the learning power of storytelling into history units. As a first step she created a transmedia storytelling experience that had summer camp students exploring where ‘history’ comes from.
In classes like social studies and science, students are expected to do complex nonfiction reading. How can we ensure they’ll process and retain the content for future use? History/ELA teacher Megan Kelly shares fun activities to help kids think more deeply about information text.
Sharing Identity Slides can be the first step in building a classroom community of acceptance, risk-taking, growth, and reflection. Megan Kelly is excited that she and her sixth graders can start on that path with a simple activity that also assesses skills in three areas.
When the goal of argumentation is to learn from each other, the task becomes less competitive and more enriching. SS/ELA teacher Megan Kelly uses games to help students build socratic skills as they consider perspectives, identify their audiences, and argue with insight.
If we want kids to transfer and integrate their learning, they need thinking strategies they can apply in many situations. In her school, writes Megan Kelly, as students acquire ‘systems thinking’ skills, they begin to discover interconnectedness everywhere they look.
For Megan Kelly’s Ancient Civilizations unit, Grade 7 gamers played her “Ancient” adaptation of Apples to Apples (see her tips), Galactic Mappers and Inhabitation. Along the way they created continents and civilizations, and learned systems thinking and plenty of content.