So recently I went to the library with my Young Adult Literature class to examine textbooks and manipulatives that I could possibly use in the classroom. I had mixed feelings about the text books, but that is a post for another time. I actually spent more time focusing on the 'manipulatives' that could be used in the English classroom. I managed to find a few board games that could be used in the classroom, but I believe that the majority of these games could be played without the boards and pieces. I never quite thought about how few manipulatives exist for literature courses, but one thing that stuck out to me was puppets. Now I know this may seem crazy, but I believe that I could use puppets to teach something in a more interesting manner. I mean, it is not what you teach that matters, it is how you teach it.
Take grammar for instance. Who would not want to learn grammar from Gus the Grammar Goat? I know I tend to recollect information better in absurd situations. I remember once in high school we were taught a song and dance for the formula for momentum in a physics course. And although it was an absurd activity, I will never forget that M*V=Momentum. I feel like using something as entertaining as a puppet would allow the students to retain the information, but this could easily become a gimmicky sort of activity that hinders the students's learning. Activities like this cannot be used for everything, but I feel like I will be able to use puppets to teach grammar in a more memorable manner.
The Jesse Jennings