Drama activities should be brief and
move quickly. A teacher might organize
students into small groups and assign
each group a topic or choice of topic.
For example, a mathematics teacher
might have students do brief sketches
that illustrate mean, median, or mode.
After each sketch, the observing students question the players about the
Movement is a small,
important, part of
Every Bit Helps
Movement in the classroom is a small,
but potentially important, part of
effective teaching. Teachers who are sensitive to the need for student
engagement—and the role of movement
in enhancing that engagement—will
have greater success in sustaining students’ attention levels. EL
In this activity, students are asked to
stand and briefly illustrate vocabulary
terms that the teacher calls out. For
example, a mathematics teacher might
call out the term rectangle. Students then
attempt to represent a rectangle with
their bodies. Next, the teacher might
call out square, and students change
their body representations to fit the
term. After a few more rounds, students
take their seats.
stretches that require parts of the body
on the left side to connect to parts of the
body on the right side and vice versa,
such as touching the right elbow to
the left knee and then touching the left
elbow to the right knee.
1Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., &
Heflebower, T. (2011). The highly engaged
classroom. Marzano Research Laboratory:
2Jensen, E. (2005). Teaching with the brain
in mind (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Movement That Boosts Energy
Not all movement activities need to
directly link to content. Sometimes it’s
necessary to get students moving simply
to boost their energy levels.
Movement increases the amount
of oxygen to the brain. Consequently,
when a teacher sees that students’
attention levels are waning—for
example, during a class period right
before lunch—he or she might ask
students to stand up and take a stretch
break. At the elementary level, I’ve seen
teachers ask students to run in place or
engage in a quick set of jumping jacks.
Teachers who wish to apply brain
research2 might construct activities that
stimulate both hemispheres of the brain.
For example, during a stretch break, the
teacher might guide students through
& Michael Fullan
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