Finding the Hooks that Work for You!
Yesterday I was on Twitter and Matt Miller tweeted a blog post with a challenge to look at "Teach Like a Pirate" towards the back of the book and for thirty days try to incorporate these hooks daily into your lessons. I like a challenge. This is my brainstorming for the beginning of the year:
Multiple Intelligence Hook: I really think by using the multiple intelligence test the first week I can start to see my students as individuals with very different needs. I hope to foster their strengths throughout the year and tried to make a chart for the first module that allowed students to choose different ideas from their strengths. I think by having students be aware of their learning and how they best learn, they will be “hooked” into learning more.
Real-World Application Hook: With planning with Kim we have tried to incorporate our first module into real-world thinking and application. I think Genius Hour will help with this too. I already try to connect everything together. I tell them I’m like a spider spinning her web.
Life-Changing Lesson: After we read “The Great Gatsby” the students are all about making easy money. They don’t see the tragedy that unfolded right before their eyes. I do a three-day lesson where I have them in groups and I give them materials (adapted from New York Times Lesson about the Gatsby Curve) and they do not all have the same amount of materials. Some have less, some have too much, etc. Then I have them build the same thing. Some will go and steal from other groups, beg, barter, or hoard. I sit and watch. When we have some people complete while others don’t I start asking questions. I start showing them that society works this way: some share and help others and some have a lot and don’t. We talk about community service and missions and students start to see how Gatsby was rather selfish and love-driven. Afterwards, I show them a Ted Talk about the Inequality in America and we go over the Gatsby Curve. It turns into some powerful discussions.
Student-Driven Hook: I plan to do this with the multiple intelligences choices for their blogs/projects and by using Genius Hour. I also plan to have an area in the room for suggestions for improvement for the week’s lessons. Hopefully I get some good “tips”!
The Opportunistic Hook: I love the idea of the QR codes around the room on Posters. I just put that in my Google Keep to do before the start of the school year. This would be so easy and fun! I can change it every so often to mix it up for kids and me!
Interior Design Hook: I’ve done this with “The Great Gatsby” by having the desks in groups and had tablecloths, place cards, stars and glitter hanging from the ceiling and made a mini-speakeasy. I dress up a little like the time period and play jazz music. I then had them explore the colors and their meaning so that they could create a visual of each color to remember while reading the book since it’s filled with color symbolism. Love the Salem Idea. I might do this for the Crucible!
Board Message Hook: I do some of this, but I’ll have to do more. I always have something projected at the beginning to “spark” interest, but I like some of the ideas listed.
The Costume Hook: I do some or I dress thematically and explain to the students why and they become intrigued, but I can certainly do more of this.
Props Hook: Oh my goodness! 24 years ago during Student Teaching I did a lesson using props! I have never thought of doing this as an actual lesson as a teacher. I can make all the excuses in the world, but sometimes my creativity needs to be documented and then read for later. Maybe the department I came into also stagnated my creativity for awhile… I’m bringing it back this year! Time to go props shopping!
The Mystery Bag Hook: I love this idea. It makes me think of “Master Chef” and the mystery boxes. I think this would be great for narrative writing and thinking outside the box. Sort of like this: If I could transport back to Salem and take these three items, how could they change the course of history and why?
The Mime Hook: I’m going to try this year by saying less and letting the students speak more. This hook may help with this objective!
Teaser Hook and Backwards Hook: Love both of these. I think it would work well either way. Maybe I could do the Gatsby Curve Lesson before and after the novel and then I may get students reading the book a little differently from the beginning.
Reality TV Hook: I was a huge Fear Factor fan. I think I could have students do one of their weaknesses on the multiple intelligences chart and have the judges be those who are good at that type of learning. It may let them appreciate skills they don’t have, but might be able to hone throughout their lifetime. I also think back to the “Phineas and Ferb” blog post that Matt Miller did and am reminded of how to make things interesting and relatable.
Techno Wiz Hook: My class has been increasingly about this for the past two years. This year I am going to explode with this since we will be 1:1 and the kids will be taking ipads home.
The Chef Hook: I always like doing this. I normally have the students try to make the food thematic from something we’ve read. I show them my son’s Boy Scout cakes from the Blue and Gold Banquets for inspiration. Right before Winter Break we have finished reading “1984”. I give them an invitation to a Dystopian Christmas and explain that it’s going to be different. The first day they make cards for one character from another character that are hilarious and a bit odd. As they make the cards, I play the most annoying Christmas music possible - “Dominick the Donkey”, “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”, etc. They think it’s great. Then the final day they bring in food that is symbolic of what we’ve read. I give them Truth Serum “Hot Chocolate” and we play a “1984” Kahoot and eat. Lots of fun.
Mnemonic Hook: In English we have a lot of strategies and mnemonic hooks already. I write them on my windows with the window markers and when we are working I will say, look at the windows for help. Cuts down on my repeating the hook and they learn it more this way.
Again, all of these hooks were read and written thanks to Matt Miller and his challenge on Twitter. Now I’m almost done with the book! :)