High School Teachers, Try This! “Students Do the Teaching” Unit Plan

As a high school teacher, finding innovative ways to engage students and facilitate their learning journey is an ongoing quest. The classroom dynamic can be significantly transformed when students are given the opportunity to take control of their own learning process. One way to achieve this is through a “Students Do the Teaching” unit plan. This approach has been proven to not only foster student cooperation but also develop crucial skills in communication, leadership, and problem-solving.

1. Choose a topic or unit of study: Select a subject or theme that lends itself to diverse perspectives and interpretation. For example, you can choose a social issue, historical event, or scientific phenomenon that will allow students to delve deeper into their understanding while teaching others.

2. Divide your class into groups: Assign each group an aspect of the topic or unit to research, discuss, and present to the class. Develop guidelines for the groups’ presentation outlines, making certain they address essential points relevant to their subject matter.

3. Establish group roles: In each group assign member roles including researcher, content curator, facilitator, and presenter. Encourage students to take on different roles in subsequent projects so that they experience varying responsibilities.

4. Encourage collaboration: Provide ample time for students to collaborate both in-class and after school hours, thereby fostering camaraderie and teamwork.

5. Offer mentorship: As the teacher, maintain your role as a mentor and overseer throughout the process. Offer guidance on research methods, group discussions facilitation techniques or presentation best practices as needed.

6. Monitor progress: Periodically assess the progress of each group’s research and preparation for their presentation day. Offer feedback on how they can improve upon their current process or enhance their content.

7. Host presentation days: Once the groups are ready, allot a day for each group to present their researched topic to the class. Encourage students not presenting to participate actively by asking questions and providing constructive feedback.

8. Debrief and reflect: After all presentations are complete, lead a debriefing session where students and teachers reflect on their learning experiences. Discuss challenges faced and celebrate achievements it provides insight into what worked and what can be improved in future iterations.

9. Assess and evaluate: Implement a peer-review system for students to evaluate the presentations while also offering your teacher’s perspective on content quality, presentation skills, and teamwork abilities.

A “Students Do the Teaching” unit plan has the potential to empower high school students by giving them an opportunity to drive their learning experience. This approach will not only create an exciting classroom environment but will also inspire students to be more invested in their own education journey.

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