Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Using Containers to Engage Students

Hey, everyone!  I'm sorry I haven't been on lately, but I'm getting back into the swing of things, I promise. I know I left my blog off on a sour note, but things have greatly improved for me since that last post.  It took some time to adjust and I've been doing some problem solving that has helped a lot.  Thank you to those who took a minute to leave kind, uplifting words.  It always helps knowing that there are others out there who know what I'm going through. And since this is the time of year to be thankful, please know that I am thankful for all of you wonderful readers. :)  Truly.

Now, on to some educational stuff.  At the beginning of the year, I had to teach a review lesson on economics and I was not looking forward to it.  I don't have anything against economics.  I enjoy getting a paycheck each month and I certainly enjoy spending it, but that's the extent of my experience with the subject.  I did some digging and found a free lesson idea online that transformed my lesson from dud to fun!

So, in this Supply and Demand Lesson, students examine statements and decide how supply and demand will be affected.  Sounds boring, right?  Well, it's suggested that the teacher put the statements into interesting containers to stir student interest.  Since the given statements revolve all around milk, eggs, and pickles, I used a milk jug, egg carton, and pickle jar.  Most of these I already had at home and all I had to do was eat cereal for dinner the night before.


It's CRAZY how excited my students were to do this easy activity.  They loved reaching into the various containers and everyone wanted a chance to be the one who drew and read the statement aloud.  Guys, my kids are 6th graders and they're too cool for everything, but not a few pieces of trash.  Go figure.

So, have you ever used unique containers in a lesson?  What did you use and how did it go?  I'm shocked by how simple and effective it was.  The activity itself was the exact same, but without those containers, I doubt my kids would have paid attention half as well.  Perhaps those of you who are more experienced have known the power of simple things like this before, but it was new to me so I thought I'd share!