Technology has definitely provided us with more tools than we could have ever wished for – still, the curious, inquisitive mind inside me always tries to find new ways to use old-time teacher favorites in the classroom. I started my Class Objects series about two years ago with the aim of making the best of what we already have at our disposal, using in other words objects all teachers (and students) have in their pencil case. My aim was – and still is- to remind us all that being creative is a choice regardless of how many resources we have available in our class. We can all become more creative teachers if we open our mind to new ways of thinking and continue to be inspired by everyday experience.
For those of you interested in the previous posts, here are the links:
- Teaching with a pencil only
- Teaching with a ruler only
- Teaching with erasers
- Teaching with paperclips
Using stickers and self-inking stamps is surely one of the best ways to reward your students, build a community of trust and make kids aware of their own progress. Apart from these uses though, there are so many other ways to make the most of stickers and stamps!
- Creating your own mad libs: Stickers and rubber stamps can be used both as visual clues in a mad lib or as an “ideas bank” for your students. I like using stickers that are seemingly unrelated to add a touch of unpredictability to the mad lib. You can start by creating a stickers-based mad lib in class and then ask your kids to choose stickers and create their own mad libs.
- What comes next? – Missing dialogue: Similar to a mad lib, stickers with phrases on or stamps can be used to fill in missing gaps in dialogues or comic strips.
- Teaching empathy – Lift me up activity: One of the easiest ways to teach empathy and practise speaking skills as well is a role-play I call “Lift me up”. You start by splitting your class in pairs and then you give each pair a “Bad Day” scenario. For example, you tell them that Student A has just got a low score in their math test. Their partner, Student B, will have to choose the best way to lift their friend’s spirits by selecting the most appropriate sticker. You could also turn this into a class game with points for each of the stickers you will use.
- Speaking prompts: Stamps and stickers make great speaking prompts, especially if you like playing speaking games in class. One of my favorite ways to use Reward Stickers or Cheerful Words stickers is when I play the “YES/NO game” where students should never reply with a yes or no. (for more speaking activities click here).
- Making pictionaries: There is such a great variety of stickers nowadays that you’re sure to find stickers on every topic imaginable. Stickers are a great -and more tangible in a way- alternative to flashcards, so they could be used when you teach thematic vocabulary. Also, you could encourage your kids to create their own pictionaries using stickers!
- Story starters – younger learners: A “Have a nice day” or “Keep Trying” rubber stamp can turn into a story starter for a beginner’s class in writing.
- Story cubes alternative: Different stickers make a great alternative to story cubes or they could be used for object clues in a Story Sequencing activity.
- Writing/Speaking kit: Ask your students to write a story using 5 stickers you can stick at the end of their notebook’s page or turn the classic “Stranded on an island” speaking activity into a sticker-based one where students have to use the objects shown in the stickers in order to survive.