Creating Dynamic Lessons/Intro Practice

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Pick me, Pick me!

Videos are a multimodal way to start a lesson. They are visually and auditorially appealing. You could choose music videos, world news clips, Hollywood video clips, home-video clips, or even a video you created. Today's culture usually sees video as an enjoyable form of pastime...sometimes even watching videos of themselves...Here are some sites that may contain videos you want to use to grab your learner's attention.

Music--Are you teaching a lesson about irony? Play Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" at the beginning of the lesson.
Several of the previously listed sites contain songs. The following website contains many music videos to preview for a lesson. Use the site's search bar to locate a music video. If you were going to do an Irish history lesson, you could search U2's song, "Sunday, Bloody Sunday."

Stories are another lively way to begin a lesson. I got stuck in a terrible snow storm in the Rockies on my way to the hotel where scenes of The Shining were filmed. The walls of snow compared to the snow described in the story we are going to study, "To Build a Fire." The blinding snow and subzero temperatures were like the main character's weather conditions. Let's see if he or I had better survival skills--See, stories can connect a vacation to a lesson's topic.

Of course a teacher could tell a story in person, but learners may also be interested to watch videos that tell a story or listen to podcasts that tell a story related to a lesson's topic. The previously listed sites may contain stories to grab a learner's attention. Music can definitely tell a story. However, the following websites allow you to create your own stories tailored to a lesson's topic.

  • (Create and listen to online newscasts).
  • (Type--blog--your story and allow students to comment on it too).
  • (Create animated stories with characters, narration, and scenery etc.)

Finally, an interactive way you could activate a learner's prior knowledge and get them participating in the lesson by creating a surveys or multiple choice quiz. You can immediately display the results to the students, debate the correct answers, and begin a rich discussion.

By the way, all of the previously listed sites are free!

Your Turn!
Do you know a website that helps you tell stories or contains your favorite music video? What are some other sites that can reel an audience in? Click the "Discuss" tab at the top of this page to add your suggested website.

Go Back or Go to the next part of the lesson: Part 3: The Lesson.

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Creating Dynamic Lessons