Learning Activities For Tenth Graders'

Tenth grade students need to be challenged, and it isn't difficult to find ways to stimulate a love of learning with creative activities.

Once children reach high school age, they begin to exert more and more independence. They don't want to appear too needy, and in fact, they enjoy having more freedom to make many of their own decisions. This doesn't mean, however, that they don't need some type of guidance, especially in the areas of learning and education. Tenth graders in particular love challenges, even though they may complain about excessive work loads. If they aren't being challenged in the classroom, they quickly become bored and uninterested in learning.

Because computers play a part in every day life for most people, and teenagers are often very versatile when it comes to computer usage, projects involving research and the Internet are excellent learning activities for tenth grade students. If your students are studying a particular event in history, you can easily integrate research and the Internet to stimulate their interest in the unit you are teaching.

You should begin the activity by placing students in groups of four or five. It is best if you put the students into their cooperative groups instead of allowing them to choose their own groups. By doing this, you should be able to have a mix of stronger and weaker students. You will also avoid the agony some students might feel if they are left out of a group. You should also try to break up noticeable cliques in your classroom by placing students that don't appear to be good friends into groups, so that they can become better acquainted with each other.

Once you have established your groups, you should instruct your tenth graders to select, as a group, a significant event in history to research. Each group should have a different event to work on. If some of the groups are having difficulty picking a topic, you might want to give them several to choose from.

Once you have given your approval for each group's topic, you can give your students their instructions. This project is called Newscast from the Past, and they are to research and write a newscast script of their historical event. They should have an anchor, reporters, and interviewees. All of their information should be historically accurate. You should encourage them to use creative props, such as costumes, microphones, wigs, posters, etc. They should also create two commercials that will be a part of their newscast. These commercials should feature original products that the students have come up with. Once they have researched and written their scripts, they can perform them for the rest of the class.

Another great activity which also involves the computer is to let the students research a variety of famous authors, and then create a Power Point project about their author. They should find out as much about their assigned writer as possible. Their slide show can include a minimum of ten slides about their author, including biographical information, interesting facts, and best known works.

An extra eight slides can be assigned for advanced tenth grade students. These slides should be a visual interpretation of one of their author's works. They should choose a significant word for each slide and illustrate that word both visually and symbolically with some type of picture. This visual interpretation will give them the opportunity to be even more creative in their slide show.

Finally, a great group project that can be coordinated during a study of a novel is to create a newspaper. Students can write news articles based on events in the book. They can research the setting of the novel and find appropriate advertisements for products popular during that time period. They can also write letters to the editor, advice columns, and add popular recipes.

Tenth grade students need to be challenged, and it isn't difficult to find ways to stimulate a love of learning. Incorporating group projects and computer usage are just two ways to capture these teenagers' attention.

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