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Substitute Classroom Games That Increase Your Students' Knowledge

As a substitute teacher, you're often left to your own devices when it comes to creating fun classroom activities that will engage your students and actually teach them something. Skip out on games like "Doggy, Doggy Where's Your Bone?" and try out these challenging (but fun) games instead.

Around the World (Geography)

American students are notoriously bad at geography, but this simple game can help you break that destructive cycle. Start by printing out flash cards that include the name of a country, its capital, its national motto, and one interesting fact about it.

Hand these out to the students and ask them to stand up and read the card. Now, pull down the world map and time how quickly it takes them to find the country. Reward the child with the quickest time, shuffle the cards, and keep going.

Au Revoir! (Foreign Languages)

Children love knowing words in other languages: it makes them feel smart and can lead to a lifelong love of language. Start by assigning each student a word or phrase from a foreign language that they are to memorize.

Now, they will stand up and say it to the class and explain what it means. For added fun, try to get them to use the word (properly) throughout the day.

Hypothetical Concepts (Abstract Thinking)

It's never too early to start stretching your students' minds into abstract thinking. Start by asking your students a silly, hypothetical question such as "Who would win in a fight: Batman or the Incredible Hulk?"

Now, let your students discuss it among themselves and write down their viewpoints, along with explanations. Later, move on to more complex ideas.

While these games are very educational, many subs will ignore them, believing that they have no role in teaching. Do you think that subs have a duty to teach their students or should they leave that to full-time teachers? It's a question worth pondering.

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photo credit: Planet Earth . . .Modelled 7 - (license)
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