Twenty to thirty percent of the learners in my high intermediate-advanced class self-identified their strongest learning style as kinesthetic. However, activities that engage adult bodies and brains require consideration of age appropriateness and student willingness to participate. Here are a few engaging activities that I’ve used consistently in Adult Education classes at Black Hawk College, Moline, IL.
1. STAND UP & MAKE A SENTENCE
Preparation: Teacher takes a sentence and writes one word or punctuation mark per 8 ½ x 11 sheet, capitalizing the first word. Short sentences that students have seen are useful to start, but once students are familiar with the activity, sentences can be personalized and lengthened by adding adjectives and time and prepositional phrases. Some longer sentences can involve 16-20 students.
2. CONVERSATION STRIPS
In class: Give each student one of the papers and ask them to stand and line up in order. Working together, students are remarkably adept at figuring out the correct word order. Students learn to listen to each other, work together and practice grammatical structures. Once completed, everyone reads the sentence aloud together.
Preparation: Teacher re-types a conversation in a larger font, prints and cuts in strips making one set per pair. This is a great way to recycle textbook conversations.
3. CARD ACTIVITIES
In class: Student pairs put the sentences in order. Once completed, students read and check if it makes sense. If from a text, students can check their sentence order.
Preparation: Use Microsoft Publisher to make 8 cards per 8 ½ x 11 sheet. Print and cut (ideally using a paper cutter for evenly shaped cards). Make one set per pair.
4. FOLLOW THE CLUES
- Vocabulary—match the word with the definition or picture with word. Then, partners take one away and quiz each other.
- Phonetic practice—when studying the pronunciation of “ed or s/es” students group cards with words that have the same final sound.
- Mixed Tenses—Match question with answer using a variety of verb tenses. A Yes-No question starting with “did” always has an answer with “did.
Preparation: To practice prepositions of place (under, on, up, down, left, right), teacher prepares clues in envelopes and hides them throughout the building. Groups of students are sent out in different directions and to different places. Envelopes must be clearly marked or color coded for each group.
5. MAKE IT FOR REAL
In class: Each group (3) gets a starting clue. Groups must stay together, find and follow the clues. The last clue takes them to a prize and directions to return to class.
On special occasions, bringing boxes of instant pudding or an easy no-bake recipe, such as guacamole or cranberry sauce, gets students involved in reading directions, stirring, chopping and mixing.
Preparation: Bring materials, needed equipment, directions and supplies to clean up.
In class: Read directions together or in groups before handing out supplies. Groups read and follow directions to complete the activity. After sharing the treat, re-writing the directions extends and reinforces the activity.
Theresa Bries teaches Adult Education at Black Hawk College in Moline, Illinois.