Finding Regular & Authentic Opportunities for Movement in High School Classes


flickr photo by susanne anette shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

We’ve all experienced the frustration of sitting through long presentations or lectures. Yet somehow it’s easy to forget this when we feel pressured to teach a lot of material. Educator Kenny C. McKee recently wrote an excellent post titled, “Five Movement Strategies in the High School Classroom.”

“Many high school teachers still struggle to integrate movement into the classroom. I know that as a former English teacher, movement found its way into many of my “special” lessons, but it was often a missing ingredient of daily instruction. For example, when students worked on creating commercials integrating persuasive techniques, searched for books in the library, or carried out debates, movement was inevitable. However, when the main focus of a lesson was reading and writing (as many are in the English classroom), movement was minimal.

I’ve included some strategies that teachers of any content area can use to integrate movement into lessons.  All of these are strategies that I either used or observed colleagues use with classes over the past week. Of course, authentic movement such as performance tasks, problem-based learning, and flexible group work is ideal. However, when you have a lesson that looks “sedentary,” integrating one of these strategies will surely increase students’ learning and engagement.

1. Gallery Walks/Chalk Talks

Sometimes we have multiple texts that students will need to read and analyze in a lesson. Why not post those texts on the walls, and have students rotate around the room in small groups? I have used this strategy with students analyzing primary and secondary documents for DBQ’s (document-based questions) in history classes. One colleague had students analyze magazine ads for rhetorical techniques in her English class.”

Read the entire piece here.

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