Innovation on Earth

Global Citizenship Resources for Innovation Academy and Beyond

Forget the Flashcards

The longer I teach, the more I realize how important creativity is in the classroom. When students are engaged in interesting, imaginative work, grades become secondary.*  But don’t take my word for it. Watch what my 5th and 6th graders came up with when given a chance to “study” in a non-traditional way:

I don’t mean to suggest that flashcards are a bad thing (I still use them sometimes too).  However, there are many other ways to learn information. In this case, we were studying the events leading up to the American Revolution.  In class, I showed the students some memory tricks that I made up, using different motions done in different parts of the room.**  For their homework assignment, students got to use their bodies to make up their own tricks, and then share their work in any creative way they could come up with. Some students drew cartoons, wrote original songs, and made videos like the ones shown above. It’s clear when you see the results that they had tons of fun with the assignment. I’m pretty sure they’ll remember these events a few years down the line.

Thanks to Charles Linskey, our guest speaker today, for bringing the people of the American Revolution to life!

* I’m also motivated by creativity, as you can see by this website!  It’s not part of my job description, but I love to flex my creative muscles through writing, photography, and videography. That’s why I’ve put my heart into this blog even though there’s no A + grade or financial reward around the corner.

** I have to credit the teachers who came before me for coming up with the concept for this assignment, and my previous students for coming up with the idea to make videos showing their memory tricks.  Creativity spreads easily!

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6 thoughts on “Forget the Flashcards

  1. I thought they all were terrific ideas, and you do such a great job editing things together. My favorites were the Stamp Act Repealed and the King of England puppet. :D And my own kid’s work, of course. ;)

  2. Anna S. HB Gates on said:

    Holy moly!!!! I love these ideas!!!!

    I showed them to my mom and we laughed super hard at the super funny videos!!!!
    I love the videos!!!!!!!!
    My mom and I thought it was especially funny at the end when the King George puppet said,
    “- and I approve this message.”

    Great Laughs!!!! :D ~ Anna

  3. Alex m. on said:

    i loved the video especially the puppet!

  4. Pingback: Bit by Bit Podcast: Show 130 » bit by bit

  5. Hailey HomeBase:Bell on said:

    Loved the video! Amazing! Wikcked Funny! I was wondering if Mrs.Lianos does that when were in Scocial Studies and could you make a video for us because we are never on the blog and I think That vid was funny! P.S, Iknow some of them so I thought it was funny to see them on YouTube! abaest Of Luck
    :) Hailey 6th

  6. Taylor (my sister) on said:

    This was ausome! I thought it was funny! Great job guys! Iwill do it in 3 years! yay! :)

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