When starting a new topic or subject area, have students select a portion of the topic they would like to teach. Give each "student teacher" a day or two to prepare and then have them teach a small group or the whole class about the topic. Most students in grades 3 -12 like to be in the spotlight and enjoy being the "teacher" for a few minutes. It helps them remember the information better, pay closer attention to detail, and be respectful when others are speaking. Also, the activity gives the class a chance to learn from someone other than their regular teacher. Teachers who've done this have found that students often have higher test scores than they do on more traditionally taught units.
For more activities that can boost self-esteem and increase motivation, check out Ten Activities to Improve Students' Self-Concepts.
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