In the Classroom

10 Fun & Interactive Learning Activities for Elementary Students

The best part about teaching primary school students is that for those first years, so many of them are excited about learning. Every day is a new adventure and it isn’t as difficult to get student buy-in for whatever silly lesson you have planned for that day. This doesn’t mean that lesson planning for the younger grades is easy…you just have more of an advantage over, say, the angsty teenage level.

It is important, regardless, to be certain that you are creating interactive learning activities for elementary students because, if they have an innate love of learning at their age, it is important to try to keep that passion alive as long as possible.

Before anything else happens, just admire the energy these students bring to your classroom every day…and then try to use this same enthusiasm for interactive learning activities for elementary students. It’s a requirement!

To begin with, you need to identify what will make classroom activities so interactive. For young kids, you really want to incorporate music, movement, and interactive storytelling in your lessons. If you want interactive learning activities for elementary students to really take a shine to the material that you are teaching them, plenty of visual cues will help out as well.

You absolutely can’t forget the interactive aspect of using technology in the classroom…young students love watching videos about whatever subject matter your curriculum is focusing on.

Try to have fun with the task at hand and you will probably find that interactive learning activities for elementary students won’t just be easier, but they’ll be more enjoyable for everyone involved!

What is interactive learning?

Let’s look at interactive learning through the eyes of those who use it. The interactive process involves a lot more than just watching a teacher talk and move from one place to another. There might be certain topics or information that will be highlighted when interactive learning is used, but it also helps students process information and absorb it better.

It may seem like so much work to have interactive lessons for elementary students because of the amount of preparation that you might have to do in advance. However, interactive teaching can be very effective when done correctly and once you have a lesson created, you can use it again and again.

Interactive teaching involves a lot more than just doing interactive learning activities. It’s a mindset that you need to bring into the classroom with every lesson that you teach. The interactive process involves a lot of different points of view and this can be very effective in getting students to engage in the lesson and absorb what is being taught to them.

The Importance of Implementing Interactive Activity Ideas

Interactive activity ideas play a pivotal role in the elementary classroom, as they cater to students’ diverse learning needs, interests, and personalities. Through the use of small groups and interactive features, these activities promote student engagement and foster the development of problem-solving skills.

Whether it’s a scavenger hunt to explore different math concepts, a fun game of trivia to reinforce sight words or a group discussion on a case study, these activities not only make learning a more enjoyable and memorable experience but also allow students to have a voice in their education.

The incorporation of interactive presentation games, virtual reality experiences, and online learning platforms in both physical and virtual classrooms gives educators the tools to adapt their lesson plans to different topics and grade levels. By posing open-ended questions, using digital tools like QR codes, and creating opportunities for students to participate in interactive events, teachers can ensure that students today are learning in a more engaging way.

The best teachers understand that interactive activities are the best way to cater to students’ interests, making the learning process an exciting journey filled with discovery. In an online setting, breakout rooms and live qualified teachers can help create smaller groups for more personalized attention and discussion.

Whether it’s a fun memory game, an educational scavenger hunt, or a virtual field trip, these interactive activities offer a purpose beyond just imparting knowledge; they facilitate a deeper understanding of the subject matter and encourage student collaboration. From classic games to custom-made educational swag stations, these interactive ideas allow students to express themselves while acquiring essential knowledge.

In this digital age, the possibilities are endless, as teachers can use video content, project-based learning, and interactive content to enhance their teaching methods. 

Ultimately, the inclusion of interactive activities not only piques students’ curiosity but also ensures that they remain active participants in their own education, preparing them for success in the ever-evolving world of education and beyond. Here are some great interactive learning activities for elementary students:

Games

Interactive games are a fantastic way to engage students across subjects. Think of classics like Jeopardy, Boggle, Pictionary, Scrabble, and more, offering interactive learning activities that make lessons enjoyable. For instance, a game of Jeopardy can be used to reinforce historical facts, with students forming teams and competing to answer questions. Similarly, a game of Pictionary can help in vocabulary building, where students draw and guess words related to their lesson.

Interactive games are great interactive teaching techniques for elementary students because they help them become more active in the classroom. Interactive games can be utilized with just about any topic that you want.

Games and gamification are easy and effective learning tools in the classroom for several compelling reasons. Firstly, they make learning fun, transforming the educational experience into an engaging and enjoyable endeavor. When students are actively involved in games, they become more motivated and eager to participate, which naturally enhances their retention of information.

Secondly, games provide a practical and hands-on approach to learning, allowing students to apply knowledge in real-life scenarios. This fosters a deeper understanding of the material as they navigate challenges, solve problems, and make decisions within the context of the game. Additionally, games promote active participation and healthy competition among students, encouraging teamwork and critical thinking.

By incorporating elements of achievement, rewards, and competition, gamification further stimulates students’ intrinsic motivation and can be easily tailored to suit various subjects and age groups. Overall, games and gamification serve as user-friendly and highly effective tools to make learning both accessible and enjoyable, ultimately improving students’ educational experiences and outcomes.

Storytelling

Storytelling is great when it comes to interactive learning activities for elementary students. This technique helps bring lessons to life for young learners and kids love interactive storytelling! Interactive storytelling brings lessons to life, allowing students to make choices and participate actively in the narrative, fostering comprehension and engagement.

An example could be an interactive history lesson where students become “time travelers” making decisions that impact historical events, bringing the past to life, and making it more relatable. Alternatively, in a language arts class, students can collectively create an interactive story, with each student contributing a paragraph to the evolving plot.

You can also use interactive storytelling as an interactive writing activity for kids. Have students make up their own interactive stories and encourage them to include interactive elements in each chapter.

Let’s say you’re using a story about farmers. You can incorporate interactive elements into introductions and parts of the book that are supposed to be boring like, “Now we plant some seeds”. This interactive storytelling tool allows students to make choices at various different places in the book. For example, if you wanted them to pretend that they were planting seeds, you could have them actually plant some beans in a small cup of dirt.

Writing

Interactive writing, including interactive story writing, encourages students to contribute their ideas and make the learning experience more engaging and collaborative. In a science class, students can create collaborative blogs or digital journals about ongoing experiments, sharing their findings and insights.

In English class, an interactive writing activity might involve students co-authoring a mad-lib-style story, where each student fills in missing words to create a humorous narrative.

You can also use interactive storytelling as an interactive writing activity for kids. Have students make up their own interactive stories and encourage them to include interactive elements in each chapter.

Let’s say you’re using a story about farmers. You can incorporate interactive elements into introductions and parts of the book that are supposed to be boring like, “Now we plant some seeds”. This interactive storytelling tool allows students to make choices at various different places in the book. For example, if you wanted them to pretend that they were planting seeds, you could have them actually plant some beans in a small cup of dirt.

Q&A

Interactive Q&A techniques like discussion boards and debates get students thinking critically and interacting with their peers on various subjects. For example, in a history class, a discussion board could be set up for students to debate the causes of a historical event and its impact.

In a biology class, students can engage in a virtual debate on topics like climate change and its effects on ecosystems, fostering critical thinking and research skills.

Another interactive Q&A learning activity that also builds community is interactive debates. Interactive debates are interactive discussion boards that help students come up with different sides of issues and allow them to debate the issue in a safe environment, which only benefits their learning.

Interactive Q&A isn’t always limited to interactive discussions or interactive debates. There are so many ways that interactive Q&A can be used for interactive teaching activities, but interactive discussion boards and interactive debates are the two most common ways that interactive Q&A is used in classrooms.

Posters

Interactive posters ignite discussions and can be tailored to any topic, providing a simple and cost-effective way to make learning fun. For instance, in a geography class, an interactive poster displaying world maps can prompt students to place labels and flags on different countries while discussing their cultures and landmarks. In an art class, students can create interactive posters that reveal hidden information about famous artists and their works when scanned with a mobile device, adding an element of discovery to the lesson.

Interactive Posters are a simple and inexpensive interactive teaching tool. There are also many interactive poster templates online that can take interactive activities to a new level. They can include fun interactive learning activities with topics like weather, ocean animals, endangered species, early civilizations & more.

Interactive posters serve as a valuable and budget-friendly educational resource that can be tailored to diverse subjects, making learning a more engaging experience. For example, within a geography class, an interactive poster featuring world maps encourages students to place labels and flags on various countries, initiating discussions about their unique cultures and landmarks. This not only reinforces geographical knowledge but also fosters an appreciation for global diversity.

In an art class, for instance, students can craft interactive posters that unveil hidden information about renowned artists and their masterpieces when scanned with a mobile device. This element of discovery adds a layer of excitement and interactivity to the lesson, turning the exploration of art history into an engaging adventure.

Moreover, interactive poster templates available online take these educational tools to the next level, offering a plethora of creative possibilities. These templates cover a wide range of topics, from weather and ocean animals to endangered species and ancient civilizations, enhancing the variety of interactive learning activities that educators can incorporate into their lessons.

The simplicity and accessibility of interactive posters make them an excellent resource for educators at all levels, effectively bringing interactive lessons to life and captivating students’ interest in a fun and informative way.

Quizzes

Interactive quizzes and tests help reinforce knowledge and offer students a chance to self-assess their understanding, enhancing the learning process. In a math class, interactive quizzes can include fill-in-the-blank questions that require students to complete equations, reinforcing their problem-solving skills. In a foreign language class, a quiz can be designed with true or false questions, testing students’ comprehension of grammar rules and vocabulary.

There are several types of interactive quizzes that you can utilize with your students:

  • Fill-in-the-blank interactive quizzes – Fill-in-the-blank quizzes are a form of interactive assessment where students complete sentences or statements by filling in the missing words or phrases. These quizzes are effective for testing students’ recall and understanding of specific facts or details within a subject. For instance, in a history class, a fill-in-the-blank quiz might ask students to complete sentences related to historical events, encouraging them to recall specific dates, names, or key details.
  • Fill-in-the-blank worksheets with answers – These worksheets are extended versions of fill-in-the-blank quizzes and include a list of possible answers. Students must choose the correct answers from the provided list to complete the blanks. These worksheets are particularly useful for assessing students’ comprehension of a topic with multiple possible answers. For example, in a language arts class, a fill-in-the-blank worksheet might ask students to complete sentences with the appropriate vocabulary words from a provided list, testing their understanding of word usage.
  • Multiple-choice interactive quizzes – Multiple-choice quizzes present students with a question or statement and offer several answer choices, with only one being correct. Students select the correct answer from the provided options. Multiple-choice quizzes are versatile and can be used to assess a wide range of topics, from math problems to literature analysis. For example, in a science class, a multiple-choice quiz might evaluate students’ knowledge of the periodic table, with questions like, “What is the atomic number of oxygen?”
  • True or false interactive quizzes – True or false quizzes consist of statements or sentences that students must categorize as either true or false based on their understanding of the content. These quizzes are ideal for testing students’ grasp of straightforward concepts and factual information. In a geography class, a true or false quiz might feature statements like, “Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world,” encouraging students to apply their knowledge of geographical facts.
  • Interactive true or false worksheets with answers – Similar to true or false quizzes, interactive true or false worksheets present statements or sentences that students need to categorize as true or false. However, these worksheets also include a list of correct answers. Students must select the correct answer (either “true” or “false”) for each statement based on their understanding of the subject matter. In a health class, an interactive true or false worksheet could assess students’ knowledge of nutrition with statements like, “Carrots are a good source of vitamin C (true/false),” giving students the opportunity to test their nutritional knowledge.

Videos

Videos are a great interactive teaching technique for elementary students and interactive activities for elementary students are interactive teaching at its finest. interactive videos teach kids while they’re having fun with their friends, which helps them retain the information.

Appropriate videos use a variety of teaching techniques, including:

1) Causal Learning (also called Associative Learning). What is it? Say you want to teach your kids about colors. Instead of simply telling them what each color is, interactive videos use interactive games, technology, and interactive apps to have kids associate colors with interactive activities such as interactive puzzles or interactive stories that they’re learning about. When this happens enough times, it sticks in their heads!

2) Repetition Learning (also called Spaced Practice). With the repetition of interactive teaching techniques, interactive lessons are taught to interactive students, and then interactive students are tested repeatedly on interactive topics.

3) Motivation Learning (also called Extrinsic Motivation). Interactive videos can teach kids while helping them have fun at the same time! interactive videos for elementary interactive learning activities use technology to create games that children love and find engaging. This creates a motivation for interactive students to learn interactive topics, which can help them retain what interactive videos teach them. interactive Learning Activity

4) Modeling Learning (also called Imitation). Interactive students are more likely to practice interactive learning with interactive apps if they think it’s cool – and interactive videos use many different features that make interactive lessons cool! From interactive gadgets to interactive avatars, interactive videos use interactive ideas and interactive storylines to create an interactive learning experience that’s always fun.

5) Collaborative Learning (also called Social Learning). Interactive students learn better when they’re having interactive fun with other interactive students – especially if interactive activities involve teamwork! interactive videos for elementary students often have interactive activities that require interactive students to work together and help each other out, which creates interactive teamwork between interactive students. interactive Learning Activities for Elementary Students

Whiteboard Lessons

One of the best interactive learning activities for elementary students is doing interactive whiteboard lessons. The actual interactive part comes into play when you mix interactive learning activities for elementary students, such as interactive whiteboard lessons, with interactive online games. To maximize the interactive learning experience you should play interactive, game-like activities that build upon the concepts covered in your interactive whiteboard lessons.

For instance, an interactive math lesson using a whiteboard can integrate an online game like “What’s My Word?” where students associate math problems with corresponding visuals, enhancing their understanding. In a science class, an interactive whiteboard can be used for virtual dissections, giving students a hands-on experience without the need for actual lab materials.

For whiteboard lessons, you should use a good interactive whiteboard software program. They help with students’ cognitive development by encouraging student participation as part of their functionality, which makes implementation easier on your end.

One of the most effective interactive online games to use in your interactive whiteboard lessons is a game called, `What’s My Word?’. This interactive online game is interactive and supports learning in a cognitive way. It also helps with students’ phonological awareness (listening skills).

The way this interactive online game works is that the teacher says a word to the class. The children then try to guess the word using all sorts of interactive learning activities for elementary students. The interactive online game animation shows what the word is as they try to guess it. This interactive, guessing game helps students with listening skills and improves their imagination (which comes from creative thinking that interactive games promote).

There are many options like this out there for every topic you could imagine.

Math Stations

Interactive math stations are another really good interactive teaching technique for elementary students. The interactive part comes into play because the activities you do in the stations require students to move around and interact with each other. There is a ton of data out there that explains why our students need to move often throughout the school day, so this is a great way to build upon that.

Interactive math stations can be as simple or elaborate as you want to make them, but they always involve a little bit of movement. They also allow you to differentiate your instruction. This means that you can choose a station or group of stations that suit the needs and abilities of individual students.

Fun & Interactive Learning Activities for Elementary Students

Interactive math stations offer a dynamic and hands-on approach to mathematics education, making it accessible and enjoyable for students. For instance, in a math station focused on geometry, students might engage in a geometry scavenger hunt where they search for and measure real-world geometric shapes in their classroom or school environment. This practical application of mathematical concepts not only reinforces their understanding of geometry but also demonstrates the relevance of math in their daily lives.

In another math station, students can delve into problem-solving puzzles like Sudoku or logic games, honing their critical thinking and analytical skills in an engaging and interactive manner.

Moreover, interactive math stations promote differentiation in instruction, allowing teachers to tailor activities to suit individual students’ needs and learning styles. For example, a station might offer a range of math games, from basic addition and subtraction for younger students to more advanced algebraic puzzles for older ones. In this way, students can choose activities that align with their current skill levels and gradually progress to more challenging tasks as they build confidence and proficiency.

Additionally, interactive math stations provide opportunities for peer collaboration, where students can work together to solve math problems, share strategies, and learn from one another, fostering a supportive and interactive learning environment. These stations serve as versatile tools to make math education more accessible and engaging while catering to the diverse needs of students.

Interactive math stations can have many techniques incorporated into them, but there are some that work especially well with math stations in particular. These include:

  • Use interactive boards.
  • Use interactive whiteboards.
  • Use interactive books and interactive portfolios.
  • Give your students interactive math notebooks or interactive lap books.
  • Have your students use interactive graphs or interactive datasheets.

Science Centers

Interactive science centers can be super interactive learning activities for elementary students because they put the concepts in your curriculum into action. Kids are hands-on learners, and interactive science centers allow them to learn about the natural world around them in a way that has practical applications.

Interactive science centers turn science concepts into hands-on experiments, offering practical applications and fostering a love for learning. In a physics center, students could experiment with simple machines like levers and pulleys, applying the principles of physics in a tangible way. A biology center might feature microscopes, allowing students to examine and identify different microorganisms, making the subject more engaging and memorable.

There are interactive science learning kits online ad that provide interactive experiments and demonstrations for kids to explore. It’s a really interactive way for elementary students to learn about the natural world around them.

Interactive science centers can be pretty elaborate or very simple, depending on the activities you include in your interactive learning activities for elementary students. They can use everyday household items to explore science concepts and the interactive learning activities can be as simple as interactive learning activities for elementary students like dropping colored salt into the water and watching it dissolve.

When looking at interactive science centers online or in stores, don’t just look at the items you’ll need to buy. Look at how other teachers have used their own science centers in their classrooms and take a look at the activities that go along with them. You can find interactive learning activities to do at home by looking at interactive science projects.

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This article was originally published on July 27, 2021

After moving from a teacher-dominated classroom to a truly student-centered one, Jenn found herself helping colleagues who wanted to follow her lead.  In 2018 she decided to expand outside of her school walls and help those out there who were also trying to figure out this fantastic method of instruction to ignite intrinsic motivation in their students.  Read more about her journey with Student-Centered World at studentcenteredworld.com/about

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