Whole group activities can be engaging and fun and there are many ways to make this happen! Every class I’ve taught LOVES to move! They want to get their wiggles out. It doesn’t even matter what time of the year. Sometimes they need to adjust to being in school (beginning of the school year and after breaks) and other times they are excited for the holidays OR are going stir crazy because they have been stuck indoors for many rainy or snowy days. Or they might just be ready for summer break. Whatever the reason, get them involved, active and engaged in whole group activities and they won’t even know they are learning. Here are some ideas to help you plan.
My favorite whole group activities for Circle Time is teaching concepts through music. There are tons of songs and YouTube videos out there. But I’ve also written many songs that go with common preschool, kindergarten and first grade themes. Each song comes in audio, video and background (piano only) so that you can use the music in a variety of ways. There are accompanying activities to go with each song. Check out this blogpost to see how I use these songs with Poetry Journals:
Here is the musical resource! Look at the description and see which songs would work best for your class and themes.
Check out this FREE song with activities and a video right here:
Have Active PowerPoints
Kids learn best when the visual meets the kinesthetic with a little audio included too. Create a PowerPoint that has the skills you need and maybe some music that allows them to move. If you want to implement this but you don’t want to create it yourself, I have you covered. I have a resource called View and Do and these PowerPoints and videos make great whole group activities. The children watch a PowerPoint that you click through or the video and then they shout out the responses (letters/sounds, short vowels, colors, etc.) while watching for sneaky exercises that will keep them on their toes and moving. There are also worksheets that go along with the PowerPoints.
The skills include the alphabet, short vowels, long vowels, digraphs, phonological awareness, nouns/verbs/adjectives, sentence editing and colors (Colors is a FREE one – try it out).
Write The Room
I know that most teachers use Write the Room as a center activity, I certainly have. But Write the Room is also one of my favorite whole group activities. Each Write the Room matched our thematic unit, so on Fridays I gave each student a clip board (or just use a folder) and the recording sheet and they would walk around the room with joyful but productive chatter and look for words/pictures and write them on the correct lines. The kids would be so animated and move around the classroom freely. They would help each other and get so excited to find a word. The volume of the children went up and so did the student engagement. You might have some favorite Write the Rooms. If you have some that’s great! If not, check out the resource below:
Perform A Play Or Musical
Engage your students in a multi-sensory approach to learning. Perform a play or musical. Do this for parents OR other classrooms. The performance is the reward at the end but the work of getting it ready includes reading the script, creating props, memorizing songs (and actions), working together and a lot of hard work. Maybe you have an already prepared skit or play. If you need a fun musical I have written all about the one I’ve created in this blogpost here:
I challenge you to pick one way to bring some new engagement to your classroom today! You can create it yourself or purchase something pre-made and ready to go. No matter what time of the year it is, have FUN with your kids and make learning active and memorable.