There are lots of ways to start off a lesson beautifully, maningfully, logically, etc. For example, to talk about how your students spent their week (here are 2 worksheets to help), or to ask about their plans, or to discuss the weather/ news, or to remember vocabulary from the previous lesson in some creative way, or to revise some grammar, like here or here, or….well, the list is almost inexhaustible, as I am sure you know). But how do we finish a lesson?
“the homework is on page 5, thanks, see you on Wednesday”?
Well, it’s possible and it happens all the time. But this is not the best way to finish off a good lesson, it seems to me. As we tend remember the last thing we saw/ heard/ did, the last moments of the lesson should be worth remembering..
- My favourite (and the most logical) thing to do before you let your students go is to revisit your notes and to establish a kind of connections betwen different parts of a lesson. What I mean: during a lesson I would usually make notes on a sheet of paper/ whiteboad, jotting down new words/phrases, incorrect sentences I’d like to come back to, examples of good language…And it would be natural to come back to all these (sometimes chaotic, I must admit) things and to ask students to remember what we were talking about at that moment or how something in the list is connected to our lesson.
It works well because:
- students see and remember how much was covered during a class
- students establish memory connections between different parts of the lesson and once again voice these connections
- students get an opportunity to revise new vocabulary or grammar once again
- Another nice (a bit NLP-style) way is to ask your student(s) what they consider was the most
- … (any other adjective you think appropriate)
thing during the lesson.
This works well because
- students get to prioritise and evaluate what they’ve done during a lesson – what was the most useful word they’ve come to know, how well they’ve learned to present, etc.
- and they can compare their experiences and impressions with all the rest in class.
I am sure that if you don’t do this when the lesson is over, your students will remember much less when they leave. In other words, it’s always great when students have something to take away with them from each lesson.
- What you can also do is to come back to your lesson plan (if you have one drafted on the whiteboard, that is), and to ask your students to check if you’ve done everything you’ve planned.
Works well because, once again, it gives your students (and you too) that invaluable sense of completion and a kind of pride, too – for how much you’ve achieved!