Every teacher knows the struggle of getting a class full of children to cooperate the first few weeks back after the long Christmas vacation break. If you’re looking to avoid going hoarse from shouting at distracted kids all day then you need an organized plan of action that will keep you and your pupils entertained whilst learning. This article is aimed at teaching children in the 4th and 5th grade so if that’s you, read on for our top lesson ideas to keep everyone happy, entertained, and ready to learn!
- Start With Your Resolutions
Before you pile straight back into hardcore learning (aka the boring bits!) give your kids a chance to settle in with a mindfulness session where they can write down their resolutions and wants for the year. You can have this session be as creative as you like. They could decorate their objectives, frame them or even add them to a jar. If you pick the latter, why not end the year by reading out everyone’s resolutions and seeing how far everyone has come?
- Use Some Fun Worksheets
Rather than having your kids write pages of English and history right off the back, ease them back in with educational worksheets. There are a ton of great teacher resource center websites where you can download sheets for virtually every subject on the planet. Why not pick a fun subject such as foreign languages that can relate to their Christmas break? You can pick three countries that some of your children may have visited over the holiday season and work on sheets based on the languages of each country.
- Plan A Horrible Histories Lesson
Most children love blood and gore, so incorporate these themes into your history lessons. Focus on the Roman Empire, which was full of deathly battles they can learn about, or you can teach them about the early origins of the toilets. Romans are a great subject as they invented many things that we still use in the modern-day. You could even have the kids re-enact famous Roman gods and goddesses or have them paint their ultimate roman feast.
- Class Presentations
Let the children write and present what they did to celebrate Christmas to the rest of the class, or how others celebrate. If you can, set this task before the holidays begin as a homework task. You can ask them to pick one fact or tradition about Christmas and ask them to research it in depth. Bonus points to the child who explores a tradition and teaches the class some facts that even you don’t know!
- Learn About New Year Around The World
Every country has its own traditions for new year’s eve. Why not plan a lesson around learning what different countries do and how they celebrate? You could put together different YouTube clips from capital cities across the globe? It would also be good to teach the children about the new years for different countries and cultures that don’t celebrate on the 31st December such as Chinese new year which dates moves between January and February and Sri Lankan new year in mid-April.
- Scrapbooks For Characters
If you’ve been studying a particular book, why not have the children work on a scrapbook for an hour a day their first couple of weeks back? They can pick their favorite character or you could assign one to each child. It could include journal entries, fake tickets to events the character has attended, information about life events, and fake newspaper cuttings. If you have a large class, let them work on it in pairs.
- Run A Forest School Session
Forrest school is a fantastic way to connect the children with nature and increase their appreciation of the great outdoors. It’s likely your kids will grow bored quicker straight after the holidays and they’re out of the habit of being cooped up for hours on end. Have them wrap up warm and head outside to learn about the trees, nature, and wildlife right in their school year. They can make an insect hotel and document the comings and goings of the bugs for an afternoon. Once they’ve collected some data about the insects and the environment, they can create a workbook to add to throughout the year, filled with facts and information about the wildlife they have gathered.
Are you excited to start a new school term? Let us know your fun yet education lesson plan ideas in the comments to inspire other teachers (and maybe even a parent or two)!
John Moran is a UK teacher, formerly full-time who now does supply work in state schools and writes in the education space. As part of the Ask a Tech Teacher crew, he always has interesting ideas with an international flare. What we hear from readers is always positive and appreciative of his perspective.