Creating language arts lesson plans does not need to be a chore. While traditional methods such as language drills and repetition may be the easiest way to fill time, they are far from the most effective way to get kids to learn.
How to Make Efficient Language Arts Lesson Plans
The secret to capturing a child's attention is relatively simple: make it fun. The technique is called "giggling up" the lesson plans. Basically, it is the idea of taking the concept to be learned and using several methods to turn the principle into an integral part of the child's play.
The games do not have to be complex or even highly original. Hangman on a blackboard is a very effective way to illustrate the common affixes for words. As the children realize, for example, that –ing is always the same when put on the end of a word, it becomes an easy way for them to score letters and speeds up the game.
Another more unusual technique involves the creation of stories and characters to illustrate the principles of whatever language arts lesson plans are next in the class. Letting the children act out the process, often physically, makes use of the technique known as "Total Physical Response." This technique is especially useful for kinesthetic learners.
Styles of Learning
Something to keep in mind while creating your language arts lesson plans is the principle of various styles of learning. The latest pedagogical research has grouped the methods by which children absorb information into seven categories:
- Linguistic: Speech and the written word are the best ways to reach these children. They will absorb information like dates and other facts with an easy memory.
- Logical: These children learn best within systems of rules like mathematics. Full of questions of how and why things work, they will be constantly labeling and putting concepts and materials into categories while examining the interrelating processes between them.
- Spatial: Often considered the "artistic" types, these children spend a lot of time inside their head. They will respond better to "Draw me a picture of what you're thinking." than "Tell me what you're thinking." Using games and allegorical methods to teach works especially well with spatial learners.
- Musical: Children who are especially attuned to pitch, rhythm, and inflection in the world around them are musical learners. Incorporating methods such as writing songs and memorizing through rhyme into your lesson plans will help you reach these children.
- Bodily: Also known as "kinesthetic" learners, these children are constantly absorbing information through touch and using movement to express themselves more than words or pictures. Not necessarily dancers, they may be into sports or some more hands-on crafts. Occasionally, kinesthetic learners are misdiagnosed as having ADHD. One way to prevent this is to keep your language arts lesson plans shorter, perhaps only 10-20 minutes before breaking for some physical activity.
- Interpersonal: Also known as extroverts, these children are natural leaders who will learn best through interactions of a group of their peers. Interpersonal learners will help bridge the gaps in communication between the other learners; setting a group task such as inventing a story or figuring out a puzzle involving language can be an effective way to focus their social skills.
- Intrapersonal: These children take great satisfaction in accomplishing goals on their own, with originality and self-reliance being prime motivating factors. Encouraging them to participate in games can be a challenge, especially in language arts where interpersonal relations can be paramount. One strategy to overcome this is to provide them with a specific problem to solve for the group, and then let them work it out alone, joining the group later to present the solution. This gives them both the sense of accomplishment as well as a social context for their particular skills. It can also help other children learn to accept and value the loner's behavior.
Trying to accommodate all of these styles into language arts lesson plans may seem to be quite a challenge, but there are many resources to assist you. By starting with sites like Lesson Plans Page, you can draw on resources to put the giggle as well as the knowledge into your students.