There’s no better time to get kids excited about reading and writing than in April, also known as English Language Month. Celebrate English Language Month with fun activities that get everyone involved, all on one ActivPanel interactive display.
The best thing about the ActivPanel display is that you can bring the English language to life for your students. They can interact with the words on the screen and work together to dive deeper into short stories, poems, and more.
This is a fantastic way to introduce students to new vocabulary and encourage strong readers to fall even more in love with words. The technology is so easy to use, you can work with students of all skill and interest levels without missing a beat.
When is English Language Month?
English Language Month takes place during April, which surrounds Shakespeare’s birthday and the anniversary of his death. Since he contributed so much to the English language and culture, it’s only right to celebrate the language in his birth month.
Through the use of educational technology, it is easier than ever to celebrate the English language in your classroom. Break up boredom and involve your students with these four fun and innovative ideas.
1. Annotate Stories and Poems
One of the best ways to help students interact with stories is to let them annotate them in their own way.
There isn’t one right or wrong way to annotate; students have the freedom to do it in the way that makes the most sense for their learning style.
ActivPanel gives you lots of different options for teaching annotation to your students – and all of them are fun and engaging.
Ask your students to underline important characters or themes in the text, or draw images or symbols that describe what they are reading.
Connecting art with words is a wonderful way to help visual learners extract meaning from the text. It’s also fantastic for kinetic learners. When they draw pictures in the margins, they are interacting with the words on the page.
The screen mirroring technology can pair with up to 39 screens from different devices. This is a wonderful way to include notes and ideas from your students.
As you teach them to annotate stories and poems, they now have the ability to highlight, circle, and underline important characters with you.
The ActivePanel is easy to write on, which makes it fun for students to add their own thoughts and notes. It brings stories to life in their mind as they connect their thoughts with the words of the writer.
Highlight Main Ideas
When you annotate poems and short stories, the main points are easier to identify.
Highlight the main characters and any words or phrases that accentuate the themes or points the writer is making.
Doing this will also help students that aren’t strong readers understand the story without feeling overwhelmed or confused. It brings everyone together on the same level.
Teach Effective Note-Taking Strategies
Annotations are also a wonderful way to teach students how to take notes. Show them how to color code. Use blue highlighter for characters, green highlighter for symbolism, and so on.
You can also teach them how to use symbols to emphasize parts of the story. Use a frown for sad moments, stars for main themes, and even question marks for things they want to learn more about.
2. Hold a Writing Workshop
You can also use the screen mirroring technology of the ActivPanel to hold a writing workshop with your students. This will bring everyone together and let them become involved in the creativity of writing.
Write a Story Together
One of the most entertaining ways to do this is to start a story on the board and then allow each student to write the next few sentences.
If they have devices that can connect to the panel, they can even write their sentences from the comfort of their seats.
This is a writing activity that usually ends in hilarity!
Grammar is a very important part of the English language, and it’s so much easier to edit pieces of writing when you can correct things quickly.
Some students might feel intimidated by grammar rules, so they might prefer to learn by watching. The ActivPanel allows them to see the edits appear on the screen in real-time.
Create Writing Prompts
Work together as a class to create a list of writing prompts. These are all prompts that the students will want to write about during the workshop.
It’s easy and enjoyable to write on the board with the Vellum technology. Plus, with sensitive and accurate touch detection, you can easily rearrange the prompts from most popular to least popular.
3. Let Students Express Their Thoughts and Ideas
ActivPanel has Vellum writing technology that delivers highly accurate touch detection. Students can use their fingers or a pen to write on the board – and it has virtually no lag time.
Artistic expression is one of the best things about the English language. Allow your students to express themselves by letting them write their own jokes or share their ideas for a new short-form social media video.
Another really important way to foster self-expression is to expand their vocabulary. This will help your students learn the power of words and how to choose the best ones to express exactly what they mean. Try out the Spelling/ Vocabulary City app for a fun way to teach new vocabulary words and test your students’ knowledge with games.
4. Watch a Shakespeare Movie or Play
English language month is also a celebration of William Shakespeare’s birthday. Take this opportunity to learn about the bard. Watch a short documentary or enjoy one of his plays together as a class.
Romeo and Juliet is most popular and it’s fantastic for older grades. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is great for students who are experiencing Shakespeare for the first time.
You can also introduce movies that were created as modern versions of Shakespeare tales. For example, 10 Things I Hate About You is a modern-day take on The Taming of the Shrew and West Side Story is Romeo and Juliet.
Inspiring the Next Generation of Writers and Word-Lovers
The English language is a vibrant and beautiful thing. It can express love, pain, inspire activism, and calm wild emotions. What better time to bring words to life than English Language Month?