Time management is rarely taught in formal classes. In fact, many students do not receive any formal time management education until college, if ever. However, games can make learning about time management fun for students of all ages. In the process, they also will learn to work collaboratively with others. Following are descriptions of some time management games and lessons.
In this role-playing scenario, give students a description of an organization that they work for, along with a list of tasks they must complete. Tell them to decide, in the meeting, when each task must be completed, who must complete it, and how much time they expect it will take to get each task done. After they have created their fictional organization's schedule, ask them to discuss and analyze it.
Have one student play a frazzled college freshman and another play his college advisor. Give the first student a list of classes, as well as homework assignments and the dates of exams. The second student must help the first to create a schedule for reading, studying, and completing assignments. Then, have them switch roles. Each student will learn that stress often makes time management seem more difficult than it needs to be. When helping someone else create a schedule, they won’t feel the same anxiety they might experience in creating their own, which will allow them to focus on planning instead of stressing out.
The popular game in which each player says what she would bring with her if she were stranded on a desert island is a great icebreaker and learning game, says SOS.net. Ask players to name five or ten items they would bring with them. In this version, tell them to focus on items they could use in saving themselves. Then, to practice time management skills, ask each player to describe how he would use those items to save himself.
Letting students plan a schedule of lessons might seem a bit unusual. But when kids have the chance to take control over their own education, they often become very excited about learning. Tell each student to pretend she is a teacher creating a lesson plan schedule about a certain topic in which she is interested. For instance, a student might choose "marine biology" or "pollination," something broad and complex enough to spend time talking about over the course of a few days. Talk with students briefly about their choices. Then, ask each student to design a schedule for teaching the lesson, along with activities and means of assessing results, such as a quiz or homework project. Tell them exactly how much time they will have for teaching and discussing the topic, and ask them to consider how much time their fictional students will eed to complete their assignments. Take their suggestions into consideration as you design your own lesson plans.
Melanie J. Martin specializes in environmental issues and sustainable living. Her work has appeared in venues such as the Environmental News Network, "Ocean" magazine and "GREEN Retailer." Martin holds a Master of Arts in English.