Sometimes you need an extra ‘oomph’ for your lesson plans. You may have the necessary components – a clean and organized lesson. You want something more, and you know your students would like more.
If you want to add quick engagement, these 3 quick ways will add pizazz to your English lesson plan.
1. Find art.
Start with the story’s setting. Look for famous art pieces that will make the setting real to students. Music and fashion can also make the setting alive.
Play a song that people their age would have enjoyed during the time period. What games or extracurricular activities were popular? Look at beliefs, toys, and foods that were commonplace.
Use art to inspire writing. Students can write about the actual piece, or can brainstorm emotions about the art piece.
2. Show a clip.
Youtube is a wealth of information – and junk. Be aware that videos can have cuss words or present dangerous points of view.
Once you find decent videos, show clips to intrigue students, to introduce concepts. Start with this.
3. Address different subjects.
For some students, English class will never be a favorite. That’s ok – but we should work at connecting the content in enjoyable ways. Tying food to an English lesson plan is one such way.
For instance, I taught “The Glass Menagerie” once. As part of the pre-reading, we researched the time period’s food.
One word: Spam.
The stuff in a can.
I’d never had it before, and my students loved watching my taste it for the first time. Years later, students recalled that Span was popular during the play’s time period, and still teased me about eating Spam.
Other connections can include using maps and pictures, studying laws and court cases, and looking at the geography of a story’s area.
Students are fascinated by scientific discoveries during a story’s setting. They are often shocked to learn what were common deaths (pneumonia) and common medical practices (blood letting).
Bringing other subjects to English class intrigues students who might not care for a story.
The extras that make English lesson plans memorable, that bring home the memorable teaching pieces often have a bit of pizazz. Start with these ideas, and watch student engagement grow.