As I mentioned before, teaching large classes can be a little bit tricky. This article aims at giving you some hints about useful activities that can be used with large groups.
They are the easiest way to interact with your students especially in large classes. By using questioning techniques then you also promote active learning and you can gauge their level. They are also especially useful to stimulate your students’ interest and recap Questions have to be prepared before your lesson so that you know exactly where you are leading the discussion. Decide when you are going to ask these questions. This will depend on the pace of your lessons. Some teachers prefer asking questions at the beginning to recap knowledge, others prefer checking knowledge at the end, some others use questioning techniques in the middle of their lesson to break the pace etc. It depends on your teaching style and it will also depend on the group you have. Make this questioning time clear on your lesson plan, keep it short and eventually try to target which students is going to answer. You can use a wide a variety of questions so try to change their form as much as possible and make sure you ask just one question at a time. Use some pausing techniques to give time to your students to think and also repeat their answers to help to show your students that you are on the same page.
I personally like brainstorming at the beginning of a new chapter or new topic. I have students to brainstorm about their knowledge and how they will be able to apply this knowledge to the new topic. You can have your students to brainstorm in pairs or in teams. You can also create some kind of contest to create some challenge around the teams. I also suggest you give some ideas on the board to start the brainstorming. Give your students some time prepare their lists and only then do you have a whole class feedback.
Who doesn’t like to give his/her opinion? Class debates allow students to participate and interact spontaneously around a pre-defined topic. You may chose to have them prepare their answers in advance among their groups or you can opt for more spontaneous participation. The interesting feature in having some preparation for the debate is that you can give everybody a chance to take part in; even shy students will join as they will know what to say without fearing embarrassment. You as a teacher will just play the role of the moderator and you will ensure a fair distribution of speaking opportunities.
Students should be given some time to reflect individually on a certain issue. Once they have thought about it, then they should discuss their findings with their partners to see if they share the same views. Some feedback can then be given to the whole group.