How to Turn a Worksheet into an Engaging Activity

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Keep Students Engaged While Using a Worksheet

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Let's face it, worksheets are not fun. To students, the mere presence of them means "boring" and for us teachers, they are just another thing that we have to give students to help them learn or reinforce a concept. But, what if I told you that you can take these boring worksheets and turn them into something fun, and something that would required no extra prep time? The came up with 5 no prep ways that you can do this that are genius.

Here's how.

1. Worksheet Cut-Up

Place students into groups of five and give them one worksheet per group that has each question on the sheet cut up. For example, if your worksheet has ten questions on it, all ten questions would be cut up into a separate strip of paper. Next, students will each take turns choosing a role. The roles for the game are as follows:

  • Person 1 - reads the question
  • Person 2 - Paraphrases the question and may or may not offer a few clues
  • Person 3 - Gives their answer and explains why they chose that answer
  • Person 4 - Agrees or disagrees with person 3 and explains their reasoning
  • Person 5 - Places the strip of paper into a pile that "agrees" or "disagrees" with the answer, then they take on the role of person number 1 for the next question.

The roles continue to shift until all of the question strips are answered. At the end of the game, students look through their "disagree" pile and try to find some kind of consensus.

2. Everybody Agrees

For this activity you must divide students into teams of four. Each team member is given a number 1-4. The teacher asks all groups the same question (from the worksheet) and gives teams a few minutes to come up with an answer. Next, you randomly call a number 1-4 and whoever is that number for each group must share their groups' answer.

This answer should then be written on a dry erase board to ensure that each answer is unique to the group, and that no one changes their answers. For each correct answer that group gets a point. At the end of the game the group with the most points wins!

3. Lines of Communication

Have students stand in two lines facing each other. Choose one question from the worksheet and ask students to discuss the answer with the person that is across from them. Then, randomly ask any person to give an answer. Next, have students in one row move to the right so for the next question they will have a new partner. This goes on until all of the questions on the worksheet are completed and discussed.

4. Making Mistakes

This is a fun activity that really gets students excited about learning. For this worksheet activity have students complete all of the questions or the problems on the worksheet, but randomly make one mistake. Then, ask students to exchange papers with the person next to them and have them see if they can find the mistake.

5. Classroom Rotation

Have students move their desks so that all students are sitting in a huge circle. Then, have students count off so that each child is either a "one" or a "two".

Students then complete one problem on the worksheet with a person next them. When they are finished, call upon a random student to discuss the answer. Next, have all of the "two's" move down a seat so that all of the "one's" now have a new partner. Continue to play until the worksheet is completed.

Looking for more group activities? Try these cooperative learning activities, or this sample group lesson.

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Your Citation
Cox, Janelle. "How to Turn a Worksheet into an Engaging Activity." ThoughtCo, Feb. 5, 2016, Cox, Janelle. (2016, February 5). How to Turn a Worksheet into an Engaging Activity. Retrieved from Cox, Janelle. "How to Turn a Worksheet into an Engaging Activity." ThoughtCo. (accessed September 22, 2017).