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Learning Library Blog Engaging lesson plans that will make your students crave school
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Engaging lesson plans that will make your students crave school

By Diana Fingal
September 22, 2019
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Is this the year you’re determined to do something drastically different in the classroom? Maybe you’ve been teaching for decades and a particular lesson needs a fresh coat of paint. Maybe you’re a new teacher looking for ways to tap into students' creativity. Don’t worry. We’ve got your back!

Browse these eight popular posts from the ISTE Blog that are packed with how-to, standards-aligned lessons embedded with technology.

1. Community projects allow students to make a difference

Melissa Follin and Christina Troxell challenged their fourth grade students to find a solution to the dwindling oyster population in Chesapeake Bay. This authentic learning opportunity allowed students to help solve a problem in their own backyard. 

2. Get your students excited about writing with digital storytelling.

ISTE emerging leader Kristy Andre shares how she taught digital storytelling to students in Cape Town, South Africa. Follow her step-by-step guide for replicating the project in your classroom.

3. 5 cool project ideas to steal 

When selecting PBL projects, look for activities that aren’t overly scripted and that allow you and your students to maneuver as needed once the project is underway. That’s good advice from PBL expert and author Suzie Boss. Here are five projects, ranging from video tourism to video game design, that fit that bill.  

4. Create and share your own videos and podcasts

Educator Tyler DeWitt offers this lesson on creating and sharing videos and podcasts. He walks you through the props, equipment, tools and more.

5. A book report your students will love 

Tired of that old standby, the book report? Educator Keith Ferrell shows you how to get your students creating movie trailers about their books. Students produce a 1-3 minute trailer on the plot, characters and setting of the books they’ve enjoyed, and inspire classmates to read the book and try out different genres.

6. Mystery Skype: Where in the world are they?

​​​​The idea is incredibly simple, but how it unfolds can be downright magical. Sit back and marvel as your students use all of their background knowledge and common sense to figure out where another class of peers is in the world. Wisconsin teacher Pernille Ripp explains how it works.

7. Minecraft 101: The Underwater Dome Project

Educator Doug Kiang of Honolulu, Hawaii, asked his students to work together in a shared world in Minecraft to build him an office completely underwater. The parameters were that it had to be big, it had to be enclosed by a glass dome, all elements had to be mined or donated from existing supplies, and it had to have plenty of trees, flowers and other natural elements. Find out how they pulled it off.

8. 5 standards-aligned lesson plans 

In these educator-created lessons, you'll go to Europe to discover French Regions, join forces on a collaborative habitat project, sharpen your quills on modern Julius Caesar and program 3D nightlights with Project Nightlight.

Need help meeting K-5 curriculum standards? Read this book on Infusing Tech in the K-5 Classroom.

Diana Fingal is ISTE's director of editorial content and mom to two teenagers.