How to Teach Until the Last Bell of the School Year


This week, I was inspired by a post on the #slowchatpe blog and Jen Hogan’s blog post about teaching until the last bell of the school year—in other words, staying committed to teaching and not hitting cruise control as summer approaches.

Teaching to the very end of the year means that teachers will have to think outside the box to keep their students engaged. Here are some ways health teachers can mix it up in their classroom as the school year draws to a close.

Get Outside.

Simple, yet effective. Set safety parameters, and take your class outside. Students will enjoy being in a different environment, and so will you!

Make Learning Active.

Take the unit you have left (or even just one or two lessons) and find ways to incorporate active learning into the lessons. Check out The Kinesthetic Classroom by Mike Kuczala for information on how to teach through movement.

Begin a Class Project.

Create or change a skills-based project into one the entire class can work on together. Divide your classes into different groups, each of which will contribute to the whole of the project.

Some sample project topics include:

  • Create a “Timeline of Health” from present day as far back as possible, detailing major breakthroughs in health/medicine
  • Organize a public service announcement about an issue that’s important to your school or communitiy 
  • Have students become peer educators and teach younger students about health topics

You can also ask your students for suggestions. If they come up with the idea, they may be more likely to dive into the assignment.

Collaborate With Another Teacher.

Health education has so many cross-curricular opportunities: science, physical education, even history. Find a colleague, and create a cross-curricular unit or project with them.

I’m positive you will be able to find connections between health class and other subject areas. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.