Another remote school year has teachers preparing online activities that engage, excite, and educate growing minds eager to absorb new information. However, an abundance of online activities makes finding the right activity for a remote classroom difficult.
Even though thousands of virtual activities claim to be accessible, fun, and entertaining, only some measure up. Not to mention, it's common to feel drained after rummaging through hundreds of search results for virtual activities. To spare you time, energy, and a potential headache, I'm sharing five fun virtual activities for students that promote learning. Let's get started!
National Geographic Kids
Take students on a virtual adventure exploring deep sea creatures, mammals, reptiles, and more with National Geographic Kids. This site includes slideshows, games, and videos that share weird and fascinating facts about different animals. Teachers can share their screen as the video plays to ensure everyone is watching, then have a pop quiz to review what was covered.
Virtual Read Aloud
Reading aloud is one of the simplest ways to educate, entertain, and bond with students. Teachers can pick a short book that corresponds with a lesson, find a place to read, then open the virtual call for students to slowly trickle in.
Keeping everyone's attention is trickier when remote amongst other things, so to remedy this, make sure every student has a hard copy of the book. This way, students can follow along and see the colorful illustrations on every page. You can add soft background music to amp up the mood and move around to add action as the story progresses. If the read-aloud is solely to educate students, you can always record yourself so they can consume the story at their own pace. You can edit the recording to include photos, supplemental material, and questions at the end to review the book.
Compare and Contrast Exercise
A virtual compare and contrast exercise can be used to test students knowledge on similar topics, while helping them develop arguments, ideas, and positions on their findings. After a lesson, students can break out into groups and virtually fill in a Venn Diagram while sharing their thoughts. A tool offering real-time collaboration, like Kapwing to fill in the diagram keeps everyone on the same page as the brainstorming progresses.
Virtual Map Challenge
Test your students geography knowledge with an interactive world map that works on all devices. With this online map, students choose from grades 1-6 then decide to play a game or start an activity to test their knowledge of the nations. There are timed challenges to sharpen their skills and multiple choice quizzes to develop a comprehensive understanding of continents, landmarks and more.
Bring the bingo game to your virtual class with a free bingo card template. Have every student print off a bingo card and gather chips to use for the game. To make the game sweeter, you could suggest using candy, nuts, or dried fruit as markers. If a student doesn't have a printer, they can upload the template to Kapwing and mark off each number with a shape or GIF! Vocabulary, chemical elements, and states are examples of theme ideas to use for bingo games.
Bonus: Turkey in Disguise Project
The Turkey in Disguise project is a great way to bring holiday festivities to a virtual class preparing to leave for a break. Students can get crafty and share ideas with others while helping this innocent turkey escape from hungry guests. To kick this project off, teachers can read Turkey Trouble, the book that inspired this project, then use this free template to provide helpful instructions as they build a clever disguise.
In the end, I recommend creating a slideshow with pictures of each turkey, then following up with a group discussion to share the creative process behind each disguise.
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