Teaching is fun and learning is funner (I recently learnt, it is an actual word- fun in learning, quite literally)! Unfortunately, our students may not feel that all the time. They may feel that a certain topic is boring or a particular concept is useless. But we can change all of that! Let’s discover the ABCs to GHIs of lesson planning that can help us engage our students and how!
The A to I lesson plan is not a template. It is an idea. This idea can be used to make any lesson plan engaging and meaningful. Before we understand the A to I lesson plan idea, we must prepare to plan. First of all, we must know the objective of the lesson, what teaching and learning material we will use and how we want to assess our learners. Once that is done, we can use the following design to make any lesson plan interesting and engaging.
'A' : Activate Previous Learning
Feel free to use activities like raise one finger for option 1 and two fingers for option 2 for quick assessment of prior knowledge. This will also inform you if your learners will enjoy your lesson or not. If they do not answer the questions correctly, they are likely to get bored. (Hint: they won’t understand anything because of a lack of baseline understanding!)
'B': Build Learner Interest
Storytelling is a great way of hooking the learners within the first five minutes of your class. Try sharing fun facts to enthral your learners. If all these don’t work, a simple energiser never fails! A physical activity can revitalise and awaken the learners and make them ready to learn.
'C': Communicate Your Expectations
Once your learners are alert, communicate your expectations clearly. Let them know how confident you are that all of them (ALL of them) will learn the topic well. And also set the ground rules for each class. Trust me, these ground rules go a long way in engaging the learners.
'D': Design Impactful Experiences
Imagine using a hip-hop song with kindergarten learners and a nursery rhyme with grade 12 learners to teach them the concept of rhythm! To teach a concept, use relevant examples, situations that they see around them every day, real-life experiences.
'E': Encourage your Learners to Think
Ask questions, there are many different types of questions that you can ask. Yes or no questions, WH (What, When, Where, Why, Who and How) questions, probing questions to compel your learners to think, first inside and then outside the box.
'F': Facilitate and not Control
Remember, classrooms today are rarely teacher centred. They are largely learner centred. So, let the learners make decisions. You can give them a choice between conducting an activity or working on a worksheet when you check their understanding.
'G': Glue the Lesson’s Learning
Exit tickets, journals, surveys or gallery walks, your options are endless. Make your learners recapitulate their learning in fun ways of their own choice. Nothing appeals to them more than some degree of autonomy. Let them be the masters of their own universe!
'H': Hand them the Work
Homework doesn’t have to be boring either! Give them project work, or a carefully crafted home assignment where they engage with the concept, where they find it useful and relevant.
'I': Introspect, it Never Hurts!
This one doesn’t go in the lesson plan; but is an integral part of creating an engaging lesson plan. Reviewing the lesson delivery, various aspects of the lesson plan and then making amends is the final step to ensuring that the lesson plan engages the learners.
Use these ideas to plan your lessons and boredom will be a thing of the past for your learners!
If you want to dive deeper into this area of teaching and learning, please feel free to check out our course on Lesson Planning.