Using Arts and Crafts Activities to Develop Language Skills
Admin - Feb 04 2017
It is often challenging to brainstorm new and creative ways to keep your students engaged and enthusiastic about learning English. With each student being as unique as a snowflake, a singular approach is seldom sufficient. As such, it necessitates that teachers employ a diverse approach when teaching English. One tried and tested method is incorporating arts and crafts to facilitate the learning process. Not only does it help visual learners understand and internalize fundamental concepts, but it also serves to build other essential skills such as teamwork. Utilizing the three-step process of preparation, personalization, and application, you too can make learning enjoyable through the world of crafts. Ultimately, teaching English is about preparing your students for the world outside of the classroom, arts and crafts activities do an exceptional job of accomplishing just that.
Craft activities and videos:
It is no secret that proper preparation prevents poor performance, and this holds true for the classroom as well. This is best achieved by priming students for the arts and crafts task to come, and showing them a finished product for what is to be expected once the project is complete. Another useful approach is showing a video of the process prior to beginning the activity. Furthermore, the viewing process could be used in conjunction with a language enhancing task such as answering questions, for example: “What colors were used in the video?” The next vital step is having the materials ready at the onset, or else students will be quick to lose interest. Moreover, choose monitors in advance to hand out materials and equipment. Lastly, have a preassigned location to store any unfinished projects. Remember, a little bit of preparation goes a long way.
Personalizing and adapting activities to fit the unit being taught is the key to success. In addition, when teaching a class of foreign learners, remind students to use English throughout the exercise, for example: “May I have the glue please?” Moreover, you could ask your class to paraphrase your instructions to ensure that they understand what is required of them. Your approach should also be tailored towards the age of your students; with very young learners, take it step by step and make sure everyone has completed a stage prior to moving onto the next step. Throughout the process praise and encourage students as to safeguard not-so-artistic students from feeling self-conscious about their work. Finally, have some related print-out worksheets that early-finishers could quietly work on upon completing their projects.
Crayola Dream Makers Activities:
The next crucial step in the process is determining how finished projects could be utilized to further enhance knowledge. Board games are easy to incorporate into the classroom environment, and students will have fun while developing their social interaction skills. As such, board activities are best employed to revise vocabulary used during play (i.e. dice, turn, move, skip, etc.) to maximize learning. Students are especially proud of their creations; you should take this opportunity to encourage them to take their projects home and perform a show-and-tell in front of family members. As the possibilities of crafts activities are limitless, so are their numerous applications. Use this technique appropriately to maximize your students’ potential.
More specifically, arts and crafts tasks could be used to target precise concepts and topics. This is a strategy that is best employed with a classroom of intermediate learners. For example, drawing activities could be modified to be geared towards learning prepositions. A teacher could give two sentences such as “The dog is in the house” or “The dog is on the house”, then students are instructed to draw the two competing scenarios. Similarly, when assigning this activity to advanced learners, a partial sentence excluding prepositions could be given to students. Thereafter, students are allowed to use their imaginations to create some amusing drawings.
Creating balloon faces is another enjoyable activity for young learners. You can have them begin by drawing faces on a balloon based on how they’re feeling. Upon completing that task, each student takes turns questioning one another and talking about why they feel that way (“How are you?” “I am tired and sleepy.” “Why are you smiling?” etc.) The same activity could be used with older students by having them draw the appropriate features of what is being dictated to them by you. For example, “It has three large noses and five small eyes.” This task trains students’ listening and comprehension capabilities.
Hand and Finger-painting
It’s no secret, younger students love to get their hands dirty. As such, they’ll love a teacher who will occasionally let them do just that. Hand and finger painting could be used effectively to create a variety of images. These can range from animals to seasonal imagery. Depending on the unit being taught, have your students use their imaginations and creativity to produce some relevant pictures. Once that is complete, there are a plethora of secondary activities that they can engage in such as talking about their likes/dislikes, colors, songs, etc. pertaining to the images.
More basic craft projects could be found on this article:
Create a Monster
You don’t have to limit the class to paper and paint. Using felt, you can have them create some imaginary monsters. Utilizing buttons, glitter, and glue, monsters can vary in shape, size, and color. Once complete, use it as a basic method of teaching language structure and word play; have students take on the persona of the creature they created and engage in conversation with their peers. Furthermore, this activity could also be used to teach verbs, nouns, and contractions.
As evident, using arts and crafts in the classroom is fun, enjoyable, and will surely leave a lasting impression on your students. It begins with priming your students for the activity to come by showing them a complete project. Thereafter, personalizing the project for the unit being taught, and utilizing the finished project to further enhance the learning process will be the icing on top. As highlighted, one major unit that benefits from a drawing activity is prepositions; there are a variety of activities from drawing to molding that could be employed to teach this unit. Furthermore, we have an endless array of activities that could be used for students of all ages to learn the fundamentals of the English language. With so many options and resources at our fingertips, it is in our students’ best interest to incorporate as many of these activities as possible to enrich their learning experience.
Arts and Crafts Ideas for Kids at School: