After teaching for eight full years, I have learned a lot about teaching children. The greatest lesson I have learned is that everything these kids need to learn is mundane and boring, but it is pretty easy to trick children into thinking that what they are doing is more fun than usual by changing things up just a tiny bit. One time I created this entire lesson where students had to come to me for a problem-solving question, solve it, and get a sticker. They needed to put the sticker on their “treasure map,” and then move on to get another question. After they got 5 stickers (which meant they answered 5 questions), they got 1 last question that was shaped like a treasure chest. All they were really doing was answering question after question, but since I turned it into a pirate themed activity, they were tricked into thinking it was more fun than usual.
That is why when I saw this idea for a main idea graphic organizer using a hand, I jumped at the opportunity to use it. Usually, main idea is a boring skill where kids need to tell the main idea and 3 details. Boooorrrrrriinnnngggg. But now that they can trace their hands and put the information in their fingers, it somehow translated into a semi-fun activity. It is of course, nowhere near the level of fun that the pirate math activity was, but it changes up the monotony of the day and makes things just slightly more interesting. I am always on the lookout for ideas that change up the daily routine.