5 High School English Activities
It might be challenging to keep middle and high school students interested. How often have you prepared (what you believe to be) an exciting and fun lesson, only to leave feeling very disappointed and disillusioned when your hip activity fails?
Trust me. I got it. I’ve made an effort to design classes that I believe (most of) my students would enjoy and value. I tried to make English current and interesting. Even so, I tried to pick platforms (such as social media) that suited their lifestyles. When making plans, I frequently remark, “Man, I really would have enjoyed having stuff like this when I was in school!”
My attempts occasionally fail. Other times, I made a home run. After much trial and error, I’ve discovered a few methods consistently produce the desired results. Here are some of my top high school English exercises.
- Write, Read, and Solve Detective Stories.
Both my middle school and high school students enjoy true crime. My murder mystery lessons, which emphasize drawing conclusions, writing, and using textual evidence, go particularly well with academic units. Students develop their case files, evidence, and clues for their classmates to use once the mystery’s concept has been established. I asked them to select from bags of evidence, locations, and potential suspects to add another enjoyable and challenging component. Even though it’s straightforward, youngsters enjoy taking items out of mystery bags. This activity is great for kids who have trouble getting started.
- Take Podcasts to Heart. Then Talk about them as a Group.
Although not many teenagers are familiar with podcasts, using them to teach concepts in a fun way is a terrific idea. My students have said they like them so far. When our session was over, some students even reported to me that they had kept listening to a podcast series on their own.
Because the information being communicated must be processed and visualized by the students, as it is stated, podcasts encourage active participation from the students. As they listen, I usually prepare questions for them to answer and lead a conversation afterward. This occasionally results in slightly heated disputes in my class, which is a learning experience in and of itself.
- Chats Between Chapters
My pupils adore taking command of small-group “chapter talks.” They take ownership in a completely new way when you encourage them to take the lead in talking about particular book chapters.
I’ve particularly liked seeing my kids ask insightful questions, bring food related to a particular event in the text, and even come up with entertaining activities to help their classmates remember details from the chapter. Recently, it’s been a lot of fun to experiment with, and I’ll probably use it again.
- Host Events That have a Purpose.
We recently finished reading The Great Gatsby, and since Gatsby enjoyed organizing opulent gatherings, we did the same. For my students to research the topics they were given (historically accurate attire, refreshments, ambiance, guest list, etc.) and then present their findings, I broke them into small groups. The students were in charge of giving each other their parts, along with directions on how to dress and what to bring for food or drink. They even gave each guest a lexicon (a list of specific words) to use throughout the party. This task was enjoyable and satisfied several standards. Therefore it was a win-win for me!
- Deliver Speeches in Personas.
My students prepared and gave presentations after viewing several TED Talks and researching what made a speech practical. Characters with various professions making various types of addresses (such as Beyoncé giving a Grammy acceptance speech) were given suggestions to be drawn. I discovered that when I gave my students freedom to act like others, they were considerably more assured and at ease speaking. My eighth-grade kids’ favorite activity by far was this one. This project assisted us in meeting those speaking and listening requirements, which can be challenging.