Getting Creative with Lesson Plans

National Technologist, Damon Kahi shares stories of schools applying creative measures for a  fully engaged classroom.
Each story sharing the commonality of applied-learning with tangible results.

Gamify the school library

“One school we spoke to wanted to encourage library time to be about the books as opposed to computers.” Students were going to the library but not using the resources, instead of spending most of their time on computers as opposed to reading books. “To encourage reading, they gamified the library.”  

By applying gamification, the school was able to get students excited about reading. They seeded clues through books to solve puzzles. Students were also encouraged to work with each other to solve the puzzle faster.  

“The idea of gamification can be applied to any lesson to improve student engagement and productivity. Plus it’s fun.”

Build a treehouse = learn maths

“We know of schools that are teaching mathematics and engineering based around building treehouses.”

From calculating the length of boards to the physics of keeping the treehouse standing and the application of design thinking, building a treehouse is the ultimate tangible, collaborative and interdisciplinary lesson idea.

Net Worth

“Another school is taking maths to the next level by asking students to come up with a startup business.”

Students need to problem-solve real-world issues by building the business idea, find funding and make (virtual) profit. The experience ultimately teaches mathematics but also gets students thinking about business by understanding the basics of profit, loss and net worth.

3D render Harry Potter

A school Damon worked with was struggling to get students to read and engage with books. Damon suggested they apply 3D technology to allow students to design characters using 3D rendering. This enables the content to be fully personalised and students totally engaged by building characters to life.

Minecraft the playground

If you’re planning any renovations, Damon suggests optimising Minecraft to allow students to be involved in the design process. “We know of schools whose students designed their playground”

Students were tasked with redesigning and enhancing their existing school playground by working collaboratively in pairs and were given an allocated area. Students then were to assess their own work and record progress. They were encouraged to collect data by talking to other students to identify necessary features then use the data collected to drive changes in their allocated areas.

The process enabled the class to use design thinking to plan, organise and manage a project to completion.


Are you implementing creative measures your school? If you have any tips you’d like to share we’d love to hear from you – contact: simone@themindlab.com.

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