When My Plan Fails

When I got to the school today, I realized that I had forgotten my USB at home. I had all my worksheets and activities and games that I had planned for the day stored in that memory stick. Luckily, I had my laptop with me and managed to e-mail most of it to myself and print/photocopy at the school. The tricky part was preparing for my elective class – the activity and handout that I had planned were saved only on my USB. So I only had half a lesson planned. It’s one of the worst feelings a teacher can have (well, actually it’s not really that bad) when they realize that they don’t have enough material for a whole lesson. Good thing I had the first half ready to go! And good thing I am better and quicker at thinking on my feet in the classroom! While students were working, I was frantically trying to create an activity in my mind that required zero materials, had to do with prepositions and was also fun with just the right amount of competition – all the while answering students’ questions and maintaining a calm composure.  When suddenly, I had it!

So I explained to students how to play “Secret Item”. The objective is to get your team member to find the secret item in the classroom with no pointing or naming of the object. Students must use only the prepositions we studied (i.e. it is above the whiteboard, it is between the clock and the poster, etc.) First, I divided my class in half (as it so happened I had an even 10!) and had one volunteer from each team step outside. The two teams would select an item in the classroom for the other team, that way they won’t pick something that was too easy for their member to find. Once the items have been chosen, the two students come back inside and they listen to their team members’ directions on locating the item! The first person to find the item wins a point for their team. The secret items started off relatively easy but got progressively harder with each round which actually forced the students to give accurate and more complex directions. I found that this game was great in getting them to think quickly and to get their words out quickly – plus it also helped in their listening comprehension. We were able to play a round with each person so that everyone had a turn in locating the items.

The best thing was that this turned out to be a lot more fun than the activity I had originally planned to do! I couldn’t help but be reminded that sometimes when we run into an obstacle or when things don’t go our way – it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It can lead to something even better than we had hoped. While on the train this morning on the way to school, I said a quick prayer that God would help me through the day. I thank Him for caring about something even so small as a lesson on prepositions, because He knew that this was important to me.



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