Students have a great capacity for knowledge and learning, nowhere is this more prevalent than through peer learning. If you aren’t already familiar with how peer learning works, we have put together a great idea to get your students learning collaboratively.
Peer learning is a simple concept: students learning from other students. When so much weight is given to the teacher in a classroom setting, shifting the focus onto the students can be a refreshing break for younger learners, and a chance to develop key leadership skills for teen learners. Students gain a sense of community, learn how to work collaboratively, and create value for others. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the teacher gets to take a back seat, their role as facilitator, guide, and mentor is key to ensuring the smooth running of activities.
Children love playing board games, and there can be a unique challenge in getting your students to not only create their own board games, but also have them show other students how to play them. This style of activity works great with older students taking the lead on designing and creating the games, and then passing on their knowledge to younger students.
Working in small teams of 3-5, students will be guided by their teacher into coming up with board game ideas and then creating the physical board game. It is up to the teacher to provide as much or as little guidance as appropriate depending on the age and skills of your students, a good idea would be to have the students bring their favourite game from home as part of an ideas session. Perhaps you want your students to focus on a numbers-based game, or maybe you want to review your recent history topic through trivia. The possibilities are endless, and your students can borrow existing ideas – such as money from Monopoly or a reward and loss system as in Snakes and Ladders. You can find pre-made templates for boards and cards online, or have the students create their own from scratch, or they could play over an existing chess board but add cards and challenges. When their designs are ready, students will display their creations to other students and play the games in teams, you can introduce competitive elements or just play for fun.
Peer learning encourages creating value for others, as students focus on making enjoyable challenges for others. And will also promote productive working with others as they both work in teams to produce the games and later bring their games to other students to enjoy, providing powerful opportunities to work and learn in productive ways. This project will also help teachers to understand how learners develop entrepreneurial competences as they will be able to observe the class interacting and problem solving as they build their games.
Do you have any peer learning activities? We would love to know, so why not get in touch, and share your projects with us. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook and join our community of educators. If you would like to know more about the EntreCompEdu project and find inspiration on how you can teach entrepreneurially, visit our blog for more ideas!