4 Exciting Ways to Introduce New Topics to Your Pupils

In a heavily audio and visual-based world our pupils are used to flashier things to get their attention.

Here’s how we teachers can use it to our advantage:

1. Introduce with audio

If you are starting a new novel unit, try letting your students listen to the first chapter or first few pages without looking at the text. This strategy works similar to that of a movie trailer. Stop the recording just before something big or exciting happens in the plot to create a bit of a cliff-hanger for your students.

Audio books are easily found at local libraries, or if you are feeling creative, make your own custom audio recording.

2. Introduce with a video

Just like audio, video can also be a great way to engage pupils in learning. Try using some of the ideas below:

  • Introduce a new novel study by watching a video interview with the author.  This helps students to see the author as a real person, helping them to connect to that author. Reading Rockets has a very nice selection of author interviews.
  • Show a small section of a film, or the movie trailer if the book has been made into a film.
  • Use resources like YouTube, BrainPOPBrainPOP Jr(both free and paid versions available) and Scholastic Study Jams (great for math and science and completely free) to find quick video intros for presenting new content.
  • Watch reenactment videos when learning about historical war battles.  You can find many on YouTube for free.
  • Use content-specific music videos and have students sing along by providing them with the lyrics, again, YouYube has many to choose from.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Be sure to watch the videos first before you show them to your pupils.

3. Introduce with pictures and artefacts

A great way to engage pupils in new content is to give them visuals, such as an illustration, photograph, or artifact to get their minds ready for what they are about to learn.

This can be especially powerful in science and social studies.

An alternative to a gallery walk might be a slideshow of visuals using a PowerPoint presentation. This activity can lead into a great opening discussion about the new topic.

4. Introduce with a challenge

Before you tell the students how to do something, let them first try it themselves. This gets those creative juices flowing and encourages pupils to think critically. 

Some challenges might include:

  • Giving students a list of content-related words or pictures and having them guess what your lesson is going to be about.
  • Presenting an unfamiliar object or artifact related to your topic and have students guess its purpose or function.

Test out one of these strategies and hook your students from the start!

Let me know which one worked for you in the comments below.

Till next time…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.