We all know that simply studying out of text book gets to be pretty dry reading and that one easily loses interest. As a tutor, don’t be afraid to step out of the box and try some games to spruce up the tutoring, especially with younger students. By taking a bit more time and doing a little work, a tutor can greatly enhance the knowledge that will stick with the students they are tutoring.
A matching game is a good way to make things a bit more fun. All a tutor needs to do is put some important science vocabulary words such as solar, geothermal, lava, etc on one set of index cards and write the definition for each vocabulary words on a second set of index card. Then, you simply need to place all the cards face down on the floor or table and ask the student to flip the cards over and try to match up the definitions. This can be especially fun if you have numerous students you are tutoring as it can become a sort of competition to see who can collect the most correct matched cards.
Another fun game that a tutor can create is to set up a sort of jeopardy format to study for a science test. Basically what a tutor does is comes up with questions that all have a number value, such as $100 to $500 for the first round and $200 to $1000 for the second round. Then the tutor simply plays the role of host and the contestants are the students. Basically it is set up exactly the same as Jeopardy, so the tutor reads an answer such as a definition and then has the student ring in with the correct question. For example the answer could be that this planet that is closest to the sun, so the student would ring in and say “What is Mercury. ” Every correct answer gives the student the amount of points that the particular answer/question combo was worth. Similarly each incorrect answer costs the student that amount of points. This can be a good competition amongst numerous kids, but can also be very entertaining with only one kid. This simple game adds just a fun element for students to compete against themselves or others while still being able to practice the science skills they are learning.
Using things you find throughout a classroom can also help a tutor enhance a lesson they are trying to get across. Using rulers or scales can help apply specific science lessons and make it a bit more fun for the student to learn. Measuring objects around the room can help a student learn conversions that are important in science such as that there are three feet in a yard and twelve inches in a foot. Weighing different solids and liquids can showcase how everything has matter and mass.
Simple experiments can help show science in action. For example, to show how plants and animals need water to stay alive, a simple celery experiment can be performed. The tutor needs only to have celery, food coloring, and water to perform this experiment. Once the ingredients have been assembled, the student should place the celery in the colored water. The celery will then start showing the food color through its “veins”, which helps the student see exactly how the celery draws the water into it. This experiment is easy to do and helps shed some light on a more complex science lesson a student is trying to learn.
Don’t be afraid as a tutor to be inventive with your teaching techniques. Using games and experiments as learning tools can only help strengthen the knowledge that you as a tutor are providing to your student. Step outside the box and give your student a way to apply the skills they are learning in a new more fun way.