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Making Lectures Come Alive

3. During the Lecture Activities


During the lecture, it is important to stop periodically and allow students the opportunity to process the learning.  Chunks should be between 10-15 minutes. These activities can be used during that time.

Nudge Your Neighbor


A. After about 10 - 15 of presentation time, have students find a neighbor and tell them the most important fact you have just heard.  Then find out which fact your neighbor  thinks is the most important.

B. When they are finished, continue on with your lecture.

   Variations:

A. This is similar to a pair share.  There are some variations for the topics students can discuss.

  • Share one thing you just learned;

  • Share one question you still have;

  •  State three things you know you didn’t know before;

  • Ask your neighbor a question about the information and see if your neighbor can answer it;

  • Tell your neighbor how you can use the new information you learned.

 Stand Up, Sit Down


A. After your 10 minute lecture, have students stand in groups of 3-5.  

B. Each person then tells one thing they learned from the presentation.

C.  After they share, they sit down.

    Variations:

A. Have the entire group stand up.  Have them raise their hands in the air.  Then ask a question about your presentation.  When they drop their hands at the same time, they all shout out their answers at once.

Micro-Macro Stretches


A. Explain to the group that micro stretches are a small part of the body--like a finger, toe,  mouth, eye, etc.  a macro stretch means moving a leg, arm, torso, etc.

B. Have the learners stand and model a micro or macro stretch.

C. While they are stretching, you verbally state one fact you covered in your lecture.

D. Next, call on another student to model a micro/macro stretch.  As everyone is performing the stretch, the student states another fact learned about the topic.

E. Continue on for 3-4 minutes.

  Variations:

A. Everyone stands and does the first movement to a jumping jack.  They can’t move to the next position until someone shouts out another fact they learned.

B. Learners stand and then run in place while telling their partners the important things they learned.

All Together Now


A. Create a list of bulleted points written on charts, slides, or bulletin boards.

B. Read the bulleted points out loud, then have the students repeat them.

C. This form of “choral reading” leads to longer retention of the information.

    Variations:

A. Use the following variations to mix it up:

  • Students with long/short hair read it out loud.

  • Students like to ski, bike, play an instrument, play a sport, read etc..

  • Students who are wearing red/blue/yellow, etc.

  • Students who are from other states.

  • Students born in the winter/summer.

Signals


A. After lecturing for 10 - 20 minutes, stop and ask the learners if they agree or disagree with the points you have just made.

B. They do this by using a signal.  For example, thumbs up if they agree; thumbs down if they don’t agree; and thumb sideways for undecided.

    Variations:

A. Clap for “yes”, and stomp for “no”.

B. Shout “Of course!” for yes, and “No way!” for no.

C. Have students touch a part of their body and repeat different facts.  Soon, they will associate the body part with the fact.

D. Hand out red and green index cards and have students raise their index card green "yes", red "no". The cards can also be used for agree, or disagree, Ok/No way, love it/hate it. 

Shout Out

A. After about 10 minutes of lecturing, ask someone to shout out a number between 5 and 10.

B. The whole group now needs to come up with that number of important facts, things to remember, or important concepts that were just talked about.

C. After they have shouted out the information, add anything they may have missed.

Pass That Question


A. After 10 minutes of lecturing, students write down a question they know the answer to that pertains to the topic on an index card.

B. Next, they pass the question to the right or left, and the person reads the questions and writes down the answer.

C. They now pass their answer back to the person who wrote the question, and they check the answer.  Let the person know if they got it right or wrong.

    Variations:

A. Instead of writing questions, write the answer.  The other person needs to write a question.

B. Have students write the questions on index cards and turn them in.  The teacher looks them over and addresses the most important questions asked by the students.

Think and Write

A. After about 10 minutes of lecture, have students take out a sheet of paper and have them jot down their reactions, ideas or questions for 1 minute.  

B. Have them share in partners or with the whole group.

    Variations

A. Instead of writing, have them create a doodle that represents their new learning. doodles do not have to be pictures, but can also be shapes.

B. During writing or doodling, play quiet music.  The best is 60 - 80 beats per minute and no vocals.

C. Mind-mapping:  As you lecture, have students build a map using words and pictures as a form of note-taking.

 Multiple Choice

A. Give each student 4 pieces of colored paper.  (red is A, green is B, blue is C, and yellow’ is D).

B. Prepare multiple choice questions to go with your lecture.

C. After each chunk, reveal the questions and have students answer by holding up the appropriate color.

D. If learners make errors, help students make the corrections.

 Key Words

A. As you are lecturing, write single words on a chart pad.

B. Put no more than 7 words on a page.

C. After about 10 minutes, review the content that is triggered by each key word.

Fill-In-the-Blanks

A. Create a handout that has the main ideas to be taught.

B. Leave out words or phrases.

C. Have students fill in the blanks or phrases as you lecture.

    Variations:

A. If you are dissecting a paragraph or short reading selection, have students use different shapes and colors to highlight important things to remember,

 Search and Learn

A. Instead of a lecture, put the content in printed form.

B. Provide students with a list of questions and have them search through the printed material to find the answers.

    Variations:

A. Give each group of students a different set of questions from a different part of the lecture.

B. As you give your lecture, call on the groups to help answer the questions when you get to their section of the lecture.

Nifty Notes

A. Before beginning you lecture, have students take out a sheet of paper and divide it into fourths.

B. Label the columns as follows:

        • A Book  (for important facts) 
        • A light bulb  (for new ideas)
        • A question mark (for questions they may have)
        • A running stick figure (for their action plans)

C. During the lecture, stop periodically and guide them to write things in each column.  This is called an “advanced organizer” 

Tie a Yellow Ribbon

A. Each learner gets a piece of ribbon about 6 inches in length

B. As you cover an important point, tell learners to tie a knot and remember the key point. Limit to 4-6 knots.

C. At the end of your lecture, have students partner up and repeat each point as they touch the knots.

   Variations

A. Use a long piece of licorice and have students "eat a knot as they process the information.


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