The other week I wrote about making learning relevant. Every educational experience has the potential to help your learners make sense of the world. Students want to learn about things that have an impact on their everyday lives.
There are numerous ways to shape our lesson plans and daily activities to bring forth an opportunity that makes topics and concepts relevant. It may seem simple, but instead of simply teaching about a topic, find examples of how people use this information in the real world. It can often require some additional investigative work on the part of the teacher/parent, but it helps to build those real-life connections and make learning meaningful.
Many kids are tactile and kinesthetic learners, so using hands-on learning whenever you can really helps them process the information. Think about conducting experiments and getting your learners to begin thinking like a scientist. Utilize our videos on experimenting with colors and freezing water to begin formulating a hypothesis and critically thinking.
Incorporating field trips, guest speakers, and primary sources are other powerful ways to make learning more relevant. When you choose to take students on a field trip or bring in a guest speaker who is an expert in the topic/concept you are teaching, you can provide them with an experience that emphasizes the relevance of the information you are learning in class to the world at large. Guest speakers and using primary sources, such as photographs, in a history lesson can be quite enlightening and brings a new perspective to everyone involved.
There are unlimited strategies to making learning more relevant, but the important thing to keep in mind is to… make sure to keep relevance in mind each and every day. Students need to feel that what they are being taught has a purpose in their lives. Wouldn’t you agree?