Experiential Teaching…Is it in you?

After reading an article today in the ASCD SmartBrief and seeing a video about a history teacher who has his 7th grade students participate in a reenactment of a battle in the Revolutionary War, I was inspired to challenge others to teach outside the box. Although I am not a teacher of Social Studies, I am a former military officer who has a true appreciation of people who make the sacrifice of service for their nation. It’s not just about keeping history from repeating itself, but more about how people of a particular era went about their daily lives: cooking, eating, sewing, communicating, and the list goes on.

Today’s students are inconvenienced when they can’t access technology in a 24-hour time period or if they can’t hop in the car and head to the nearest store to buy anything they can imagine. How else can a student participate, appreciate, and remember a topic or event more thoroughly than through experiential learning? I can guarantee those students will not soon forget the time they studied the American Revolution!

It takes planning, volunteers, and maybe even many attempts to make a large production of the topic. Nevertheless, can you challenge yourself to bring more experiential lessons into your classroom to increase student engagement and to inspire future historians, soldiers, leaders, or teachers? How can you incorporate memorable lessons like this into your plans for next school year? Will it be a solo effort or do you have a cross-curricular plan in mind? Share it with us on this blog. Better yet, share it with your team and start your plans this summer. As an educator, if you are like me, you are always looking for ways to incorporate “lessons learned” in all that you do. Go ahead, be that teacher your students will never forgot!

See what all the buzz is about: http://vimeo.com/11385144