5 Innovative, Student-Centered, and Engaging Experiential Learning Activity Types
In the world of experiential learning there is a lot of talk about theory and philosophy; about what experiential learning is and what it is not, the benefits of experiential learning, and the purpose of it.
But the most common question that I get from educators is not about experiential learning in theory but about experiential learning in practice.
How do I practice experiential learning with my k12 students? What is an experiential learning activity? What are experiential learning activity types? What approach or experiential learning activity is the best fit for me and my students? How do I facilitate experiential learning in my classroom and beyond?
These are the questions that this blog post is going to get at. This post is all about my favorite experiential learning activities.
Are worksheets good or bad? That is the question.
For those of you that follow my blog closely you have probably formulated a guess as to my answer to this question. I'm going to start by saying that I don't think worksheets are "bad". I believe that they have a place in this world, but in very very very very very small doses. There are ample alternatives to worksheets, and I hope you'll consider them.
Every season is prime time for experiential learning, but fall is one of my favorite times of year for experiential learning activities. Fall is unique in so many ways. The weather begins to change, wildlife prepares for winter, many farmers harvest their crops, seasonal illnesses begin to creep in (not my favorite), kids gear up for winter sports, fall flavors make a brief appearance, and the holiday season comes on strong.
Experiential learning is a fabulous way to personalize learning, and developing personal learning plans is a great way to do that.
Experiential learning is by nature personalized, and part of customizing any learning experience is by letting students take the lead. Student-directed learning gives students voice and choice in what they learn and how they learn it. For students to direct their own learning experiences you (and they) need to have a good idea of who they are and what they need. Students design and develop learning experiences that fit with their academic and personal needs, challenges, strengths, interests, and more.
So how do you approach this? How do you make learning personal? How do you use personal backgrounds, needs, experiences, and interests to develop self-directed learning experiences that are meaningful and effective?
With personal learning plans.
To provide innovative educational resources for educators, parents, and students, that go beyond lecture and worksheets.
Sara Segar, experiential life-science educator and advisor, curriculum writer, and mother of two.