I don’t know about you, but often when I was teaching I was assigned terribly outdated materials to use in the classroom.
The worst were the videos, where the 80’s style outfits and monster-sized electronic gadgets always made the kids groan.
I had to work extra hard to try to make the content feel relevant and up to date for the students.
The best way I found to do that was in the typing exercises I created for students. By picking current event or pop culture themes that interested them, I was able to help them practice their typing while keeping them engaged.
The only trouble was… since the texts were just on Microsoft Word assessing anything more than accuracy was a real chore.
Today, with EduTyping’s Custom Lessons, you can create customized typing assignments in no time at all.
This feature enables you to work in relevant information, connect typing to other subjects, and create fun lessons that students look forward to.
For example, if you’re teaching a science unit on volcanoes, you might create a custom lesson of a diary entry from a geologist visiting an active volcano. As students work on their typing speed and accuracy, they’ll also be building background knowledge about important content.
Best of all, the EduTyping features your students rely on like instant feedback and tracking of speed, accuracy, and problem keys all work with custom lessons. You get all the flexibility of choosing your own texts with all the support of EduTyping built right in.
The list of how you can use Custom Lessons is endless! Below are a few of our favorite uses that students love.
Custom Lesson Ideas
1. News articles
This is a great way to keep students up to date on current events. Choose articles related to something you’re covering in class, breaking news, or a fun feature. No matter what, your students will finish their typing lesson as more informed citizens.
Here are some great resources to get kid-friendly new items:
There are so many great quotes out there, and there’s no better way to reinforce them than through typing. Choose quotes from a historical figure you’re studying or related to one of your class values.
Here are some great sites for quote ideas:
3. Song Lyrics
There’s no denying that kids love rocking out to the latest tunes. Make several custom lessons with song lyrics and let kids pick their favorite. If you’re really feeling, fun play the songs as students type.
If you don’t know the lyrics by heart, here are some resources that you can use to find them:
Expose students to different types of poetry through typing. If you happen to be studying poetry, challenge students to identify the type of poem or look for literary devices as they work.
Here are some wonderful collections of poetry that kids love:
5. Excerpts from stories
This is a fun way to add continuity to typing lessons. Choose an engaging story and break it up into manageable chunks. Each week students will be excited to figure out what happens next as they type.
Here are some great sites filled with short stories you can use:
6. Excerpts from biographies
This is a great way to build background information about historical figures and allow students to process history at their own pace.
Here are some great collections of biographies abridged for children, organized by regions and eras, or historical events:
Tickle their funny bones by making a custom lesson of jokes. You can even ask students to contribute their favorite jokes for a fun twist.
If you’re like me and can’t remember where you put your last joke book, go to one of these sites for more:
8. Riddles and brain teasers
Add a dash of critical thinking to your typing lesson by giving students challenging riddles or brain teasers to type. You can either include the answers, or you can let students write you an email with their answers when they finish.
Here are some fun resources for kids riddles:
9. Student contributed work
This is a fabulous way to increase student investment in creative writing. At the end of a writing assignment, pick one or two exemplary pieces for the whole class to type out as a custom lesson. Your students will be eager to see whose work gets chosen next.
Give students some practice typing colons by creating a custom conversation. You can find transcripts online from popular TV show episodes or make up a fun conversation between two students in your class.
11. Collaborative story
Have students write a collaborative story where students take turns writing one sentence at a time, but they can only see the sentence that comes immediately before theirs. Once the story is complete, use it as a custom text so that all students can laugh out loud at the bizarre plot twists.
12. Student selection
Make a calendar where each week one student is in charge of coming up with a custom writing assignment. Give a word range and make sure it gets turned in a few days ahead of time so you can check it for appropriateness.
This is just the beginning of ideas when it comes to custom lessons. You know your students best, so choose texts that you know will engage and challenge them!