It is that time of year again where the flowers are blooming, sun is shining, and the students are buzzing. Yes, spring has sprung and kids are excited as ever to just get outside and play. So how can we as teachers engage our students in unique ways, while still plugging through the curriculum content that needs to be wrapped up?
We know that engaging students can be tricky and we are constantly in search of great ideas and new ways to do this. Two-years ago, I took a risk and brought in my quirky passion of Star Wars and took my students on a six-week themed journey that fanboys/girls could only have dreamed about when they were young learners themselves.
This year, after a two-year hiatus, with fresh new learners who are well aware of my quirkiness, have eagerly been waiting all year for me to repeat the adventure.
There is no better time, than the present to take the group to the galaxy far, far away!
Creating the Buzz (the hook)
Introducing this project to the students is exciting enough (well, I think it is), but I wanted to do something more for the students to get them right fired up! Being the fanboy that I am, there isn’t any shortage of Star Wars paraphernalia for me to whip out and bring the students in. A couple of years back, I purchased a Star Wars book that included a mechanical storage box that when a button was pushed, featured powering-up actions with sound and lighting features.
To set the stage, I wrapped the box up in packaging, had my principal address the package with the “Jedi Academy’s” planet address (students know my chicken scratch writing) and had the packaged delivered to the class by our resource teacher.
When the package arrived, students were buzzing already as they knew when packages were delivered to the class first hand, it meant business. The resource read the label on the package, and when the students heard “Jedi Academy” they erupted! I had two students open the package, show the class the case and then encouraged them to push the button. When the box lit up and made the sounds, the collective “oohs and ahhs” murmured amongst the group. After the students calmed down, and noticed an enclosed letter was in the box, they began to chant “read it, read it!” Which I humbly obliged.
Now that the students were hooked, it’s time to begin the adventure!
Until the next time,
May the Force be with you