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Activity tables provide a blank canvas for teachers to fill with exciting and meaningful lessons.

Sistine Table Classroom Art Lesson Idea

Image of Sistine Table idea from Mrs. Karen Harrington's blog

While a table is a basic classroom tool, the creativity of the educational exercises that can be done on these surfaces are what makes them a special learning area for children of all ages. Teachers can take advantage of activity tables by encouraging their students to engage in hands-on lessons that can boost their scholastic experience. Below are 3 activity table uses that will enhance your student’s education.

A Unique Way To Draw

Exposing children to famous artists at an early age is an excellent way to inspire a life long love of art. Incorporating a variety of activity table projects can reinforce a students understanding of the different artistic methods used by an artist. One such example is exploring Michelangelo’s experience of creating the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. After explaining that Michelangelo had to paint the ceiling by standing and looking upwards on a scaffold raised high above the ground, allow the children to explore this technique in a slightly modified manner.

Using the underside of a classroom’s activity table to represent a ceiling, tape a large sheet of paper to the make-believe ceiling and give your students either a variety of washable markers or crayons. Tell the students to lay on the floor underneath the table. After they are situated encourage them to draw their own masterpiece. While it’s not the exact process Michelangelo used, this out of the ordinary technique will leave a lasting impression on children.

Group Story Telling

Taking story time to the next level by having a group of students invent their own adventurous tales can arouse their imaginations while teaching them the core ingredients that make-up a stories structure. Split students into small groups of 4 or 5 and sit them at various activity tables around the classroom. Provide them with a small booklet of blank paper and a single sentence scenario, such as, Jim got lost on his way to the grocery store. Once they have the initial scenario tell them to expand on it and create a story with their small group of classmates. If the children are older have them write and illustrate their story, and if the students are younger they can simply draw pictures that represent the different parts of their story. After the students have finished crafting their stories, have the groups read their creations to the classroom. Hearing the different tales that were created from the same initial scenario is a truly interesting experience.

Colorful Pasta Lessons

Teachers flex their creativity muscle every day by turning unusual materials into learning tools. While uncooked pasta may seem like a boring object to teach with, adding a bit of color to its bland appearance can grab a student’s attention and get them excited. Once the pasta is dyed, sit the students down at one or two activity tables and supply them with clear plastic cups and small index cards with a single number written on each card. After every student has the proper supplies, the teacher should either sit at the table with the students or in-between if they are using multiple tables. Start the lesson by asking the students to retrieve a particular number from their pile of index cards. Next, have them count out the correct amount of noodles by putting them inside the cup. By using both their cognitive and fine motor skills, the students are cementing the relationship that exists between the act of counting and the written number

If the students are older, you can make the activity more challenging by concentrating on the fundamentals of addition. Using two cups instead of one and pulling out two index cards, have the children count out the pasta while placing them in the cups, once the proper number of noodles are in each cup, tell the children to mix the two cups together and then count the total sum of the noodles. This hands-on approach to addition helps students visualize the act of adding two numbers together.

While some people look at activity tables as just another place to sit, teachers know they are the setting to a variety of educational discoveries made by children every day. If you are looking to buy the perfect activity table for your classroom, please contact us today to view the large assortment of tables we have available.