It’s that time of month again… time for another set of original topical teaching ideas. If you want to be the envy of the staffroom, the idol of your students and just generally the coolest teacher in the school then nick one of these ideas and run with it! (as you can see, this is my April Fool’s special so humour abounds)
1. Do some reading aloud! There are a few book-ish dates this month, including International Children’s Book Day (April 2) and Shakespeare’s birthday April 23 which is also Book Day in some countries (e.g. Spain). Organise a reading aloud session of pieces of writing your students like/choose. Students can read aloud individually around the room (the traditional way, gets a bit boring) or read different bits in groups, pairs alternating with an individual reading one bit alone.
2. Join the Easter Egg Roll! Find out about an interesting American tradition of the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Show photos of previous events, or a video and ask students to guess what is going on. This could lead to a discussion/class on Easter traditions in different countries.
3. Have a laugh! April 1st is April Fool’s Day in many English-speaking countries. Look for some funny news items around that day here and use these for a class. Or collect a series of Knock Knock Jokes, or Doctor Doctor jokes. Split them into halves and give each student half of a joke. They have to find their other half by saying what they have written on the paper.
4. Organise a Mutiny! April 28 is the anniversary of Mutiny on the Bounty, the most famous of all naval mutines in 1789. You could tell the class the history of this event as a live listening, or base a class around a scene from the film, or have the students plan a mutiny of their own, hypothetically! If they took over the class, what would they do differently? (note, this last option perhaps not suitable for all classes!)
5. Ask, What’s up Doc? Bugs Bunny celebrates his debut this month, the first Bugs Bunny cartoon coming out on April 30 1938. Use this event to teach animal vocabulary (to lower levels) or as a springboard to discuss cartoons or cartoon characters that your students loved when they were children. You could also put together one of those great information gap biographies of Bugs (you know, where one student has half the bio information and the other has the other half and they ask questions…)
6. Get healthy! By this I don’t mean cutting down on the cigarettes or alcohol or sedative lifestyle (all good ideas though), but rather trot out your health classes! This April 7 is World Health Day and the focus is on making hospitals safe. Perfect opportunity to do/review health vocabulary, role play a visit to the doctor’s, discuss health care etc.