When you’re coming up with a plan for your next class activity, you’ll want to be able to get your hands on a lot of extra items to make sure it goes well. On the other hand, while you want what’s best for your student’s education and enjoyment, you don’t want to pay a lot of money out of your own pocket for class material; no matter if you’re a full-time teacher or a volunteer teaching English as a second language abroad.
Here are some ideas on where to collect some free class material when designing your classroom activities. Some will come in handy for teaching kids, some for teaching adults, and some that can be used for both.
For Cut-Out-And-Stick Class Activities
Old magazines can be found anywhere. You may have a collection at home that you have been meaning to throw away. Perhaps some of your friends or colleagues have some old magazines lying around their homes. Other great places to find old magazines for free include: your local library, the dentist or doctor’s office, your local newsagents, other schools, or even ask the publishers to send you some old issues. If you don’t mind spending a little money for materials, then you can have a look around the garage sales and yard sales in your area.
If you need more material showing items such as food, drink, furniture, etc. simply take a few copies of the weekly specials brochure on display for free when you buy your groceries. These work great for activities like teaching English to kids using recycled magazines.
Additionally, you could make a trip to a furniture store and grab a few copies of their free catalogue. Or better yet, ask for a stack of old catalogues that they no longer need. The type of fun class activity you want your students to participate in will dictate the type of store you can go to for classroom material.
For Coloring-In Class Activities
Simply type what you’re looking for into Google Images along with the phrase “line drawing” and you’ll get an incredible amount of fun and interesting pictures for your young students to color in.
For example, say you are teaching them about animals. You would type “animals line drawing” and hit enter. Google Images will come back with thousands of different pictures of animals with a black outline and white background; perfect for your next activity. Save the ones you want and print them off.
Or you can be even more creative and use MS Paint to add text to your saved drawings before you print them off.
If you have ideas on where to get free classroom material to help plan class activities, please let us know in the comments.
For Small In-Class Tests
Try presenting your students with a fresh new twist on boring in-class tests. Many websites let you design a variety of your own puzzles for free. Search “create puzzle” to see what kind of fun puzzles you can make for your class. When you’re done, print off enough copies for your whole class.
So, when your students are expecting a series of questions and space to write the answers or a multiple choice-type test, you hand them a crossword puzzle and see a wave of relaxation flow around the room. Of course, it doesn’t just have to be a crossword.
With a simple rethink of your class material review test, you can break the norm but still examine your student’s aptitude. Keep in mind that you’ll be marking the tests so you may want to keep the puzzle design simple.