Reveal It: Start with a picture and reveal different pieces of it throughout the lesson. Want to see a video I made for a school on how to create one? Check it out here.
Impossible is Nothing: Pin a five-dollar bill to the wall. Then, offer to give it to the first student who solves a particular challenge. Here’s the twist: make sure the challenge is impossible. For example, have students build a perpetual motion machine or a two-sided polygon. Students learn to become fascinated by poking and prodding at problems. Make sure to praise them for persevering!
Taboo Tactics: There’s nothing more tempting than forbidden fruit—so use the Top-Secret strategy to make knowledge a mouthwatering apple. Before you teach new content, close the door. Tell them you don’t want anyone to find out that you’re teaching them this idea. Take advantage of the fact that people are fascinated by the illicit.
By providing authentic learning experiences, we can show them that the work they do in class has an impact on the broader world outside of our classroom walls. Best of all, we can stoke the fires of passion, curiosity, and creativity which empower them to grow. So, let’s not miss the opportunity to kindle student engagement within our classroom.
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