Making Lectures Come Alive

2. Before the Lecture Activities

These activities can be done prior to the lecture to engage students and identify  previous knowledge, or to prime students for the lecture. 

Experts Unite

A. Take 90 seconds and have students introduce themselves to the people they are sitting around.

B. Next, see if they can come up with 1 or 2 facts about the topic they already know.

    Processing:

A. Have a shout out with the whole class as to what they already know about the topic.

Take a Guess

A. In groups of 2-3, have students devise a list of 3-6 important things you think will be covered in the topic area.  When those questions or  topics are covered, they can circle them.

B. During the lecture students can also add facts they think are important.

    Processing: 

A. When your presentation is complete, ask students which facts they think are the most important.

B. Have students look at the list and discuss the facts they had written down that were not mentioned or talked about.

Cheating Allowed

A. Hand out a worksheet ahead of time that has about 12 questions on your presentation you want students to learn.  Make sure they are hard enough.

B. Next, have students roam around the room and work with different people to try to get the answers--guesses are okay.

C.  As you give your lecture, have students circle the answers that are correct and change the ones that are wrong.

     Processing:

A. Discuss how close they were on the answers to the ones they got wrong and how many they got right.


     Variations:

A. Instead of listing questions, list facts, but leave out key words in each statement.  Learners try to fill in the missing words and change the ones that are incorrect.

B. Learners can use sources to look up the information instead of asking others.

Know, Wonder, Learned (KWL)

A. Share the goals, objectives, or standards that will be discussed during the class

B. Students create a chart with three columns. First column titled "What I Know", second column "What I Wonder", third column "What I learned". 

C. Students complete the first two columns prior to the lecture. 

D. Students complete the last column during the lecture. 

E. KWL's can be completed individually or as a class activity

Connect the dots

A. Share the goals, objectives, or standards that will be discussed during the class.

B. Have students brainstorm how a topic relates to them individually, with friends, in school, in the community, and/or in the world. Choose the levels that are most appropriate for the health topic and age of students.

Basic pre-test Questionnaire

A. Create a pre-test questionnaire to identify students previous knowledge and as a baseline for understanding, the pre-test can be used to guide instruction.  

The TQE Method

This protocol has students come up with their own Thoughts, lingering Questions, and Epiphanies from an assigned reading. Teachers who have used this method say it has generated some of the richest conversations they have ever heard from students.