When writing a lesson plan, I usually extend conscious efforts in the motivational activity as my driving force to get the attention of my students. How should I introduce a new lesson to create a spark of interest among my students?
Motivating students should begin from the start of the lesson. Basically, this talks about the motivational part of your lesson plan. It’s how you start a lesson that certainly heightens student achievement.
For me, I should capture my students’ interests right from the beginning to go forward. So, I sincerely ask what are some interesting ways to start a lesson.
I consider attention-getter activities. These are activities that create aha moments in the classroom to keep students learning at their best.
And I am very happy to share with you the best ways to start a lesson to make your motivational activities really engaging. I hope you’ll find them helpful.
Where to list down your planned learning activities? Check out our list of the best planners for teachers to help you get well organized.
Here’s another useful addition to my lesson planning tips. So, let’s get into each one.
What are some interesting ways to start a lesson? 3 Smart Tips for Motivation
Generally, you can figure out how to start a lesson by going into detail about the whole lesson. Keep in mind that it’s a lot easier if you have mastered the lesson as well.
Once you have gone over the content, think about how you can get the students’ attention that somehow reveals a connection to their experiences.
1. Start with a game
One way of incorporating fun into the classroom is by playing games with your students. The activity gets their attention and keeps them excited. Moreover, gamifying content is proven to support teaching and learning.
Moreover, when there is fun in the classroom, your students won’t feel intimidated to participate, especially the reluctant ones. You can use interactive online games like Kahoot, Quizzes, and Mentimeter if you have tablets in the classroom.
Or you can use mind-stimulating and physical games to keep students going. They will be excited to stand and move about.
This essential tip doesn’t just break the ice, but also stimulates the cognitive aspect of students.
Indeed, using educational games in the classroom can increase student motivation and engagement. Also, when students are more exposed to fun in learning, improve their confidence and most appreciate collaborative learning.
Similarly, using competitive games in the classroom as your starter helps eliminate stress among students as well. Hence, we can’t just skip the impressive role of educational games in education.
Ultimately, when implemented properly, games won’t interfere with learning, but instead, increases student motivation and attention span.
2. Start with an interaction
Here’s another way to start your lesson. Reach out to your students, talk and interact with them. Making use of interaction in learning is a deliberate way of giving students meaningful learning experiences.
Let them talk. The more they express their thoughts and views, the more accommodating is the learning environment. For this reason, you can use any of the following to manifest meaningful interaction with your students as you start a lesson.
Ask compelling questions
Questioning in the classroom plays an important role in developing students’ critical thinking skills. Hence, asking persuasive questions to start a lesson is an effective way of making students think.
Moreover, to elicit relevant responses from your students you have to prepare questions of varying degrees of difficulty. Even though it’s just the starter, you carefully craft questions to accommodate students’ different levels of understanding.
Asking motivational questions is a useful technique in getting the attention of students if it’s done properly. For example, you are going to share a typical short story with your class as a springboard for language content, you can craft questions relevant to the story’s theme.
Subsequently, as the students catch the relevance of the questions to their experiences, a meaningful interaction begins. Such a graceful start to a lesson.
Present quotable quotes
Another way to kindle interaction as a preliminary to the lesson is to present significant quotable quotes. This enhances student’s ability to recall previous knowledge and communicative competence as well.
Furthermore, using meaningful quotes for interpretation can ignite students’ creative thinking skills as well. Just use a proper technique in dishing out the quotes. You can present it with a picture or have it posted on the board. Or, you can also include it in your slides.
Sharing inspirational quotes as the lesson commences also ignites a positive mindset in students knowing that they come to school with varied emotions. Some may be upset, worried, or anxious. Hence, giving them inspiration through motivational quotes can make a difference.
Present a catchy statement
Aside from the usual routines of greetings and energizers, you can also say a catchy statement that can make students be in their seats, listening, thinking, and analyzing.
Using a catchy statement can mean a fresh kick-start to open your instruction.
It can be really hard to get your student’s attention if you are not prepared. Therefore, making your cohesive lesson plan can really help.
Also, you have to make your starter really captivating, so students can make an impression that you are providing them another meaningful learning experience.
Make an error
Present a sentence that contradicts what students generally know. Repeat it thrice and your students will react. When they do react, take the opportunity to ask follow-up questions and never forget to ask “Why”?
With contradicting views, even though you are just manipulating the scenario, your students process their thoughts to prove their statements against yours. And when they hit the core, give up. Congratulate them for making a perfect start to a lesson.
It’s another way to motivate students and keep them excited as the learning activities unfold.
3. Start with a video presentation
It’s one of the most common starters, most teachers use today. Equally important, effective teachers really prepare their video presentations by doing in-depth research of the topic. Their brilliance really is remarkable in that they help unmotivated students to be on track.
The viewing tasks should be made interactive by asking your students, their insights about the video. As they present their views, take it as the chance to have an interactive exchange of ideas that bring them to the real content.
I often used this technique in my classroom as my students are always excited to watch relevant YouTube videos. More oftentimes, I chose open-ended videos so I can create a way to ask my students to predict outcomes.
For me, it’s an enriching communicative approach that enables students to nourish their critical thinking skills.
4. Start by showing a picture
Another way to check student’s ideas on a certain topic and to make them participative is by showing relevant pictures. Yes, pictures can get students motivated; hence, showing pictures can be an effective way to start a lesson.
I usually mount them on cardboard and manually post each one on the board or just show each picture directly to my students. I go around the classroom as I do this. This way can visually stimulate my students and practically motivates my visual learners.
To gain further collaborative thinking, I group my students accordingly at this stage. Having a group task at the beginning of a lesson helps build up students’ confidence and ignites their eagerness to join in the discussion.
I present the motivating images and check my students’ ideas. I usually ask, “What can you say of this picture?” A simple question that earns multiple answers from my students.
5. Start by reviewing the previous lesson
My lesson plan always carries out a review of the previous lesson to emphasize its connectivity to the present lesson.
In order to make this technique effective, you have to tap your creativity in making your brief recall interesting and captivating. You can make a game out of it so your students get interested and stay focused.
The think-pair-share strategy also helps to establish student engagement and to foster good relationships in the classroom as well.
Essentially, to make this technique more innovative, you can make use of tip # 1 on the list.
You can develop your own ways of beginning your lesson. Personally, it’s one of the exciting tasks I have to handle with care every teaching day.
Furthermore, motivational activities aren’t a new thing for us teachers. However, we still have to apply the most appropriate motivation to get the attention of our students to ensure the success of teaching and learning.
The way you introduce a lesson to your students will impact their interest and engagement. Hence, it’s always helpful to consider incredible tips for setting the tone in your classroom.
It can be very overwhelming to maintain student concentration, but with a good start, nothing is impossible. Hence, it’s imperative that you check on your motivational activities as you craft your lesson plans.
Most importantly, you should execute your motivational plans enthusiastically to make your lessons very interesting.
How else can you extract students’ interest when starting a lesson. Share your creative tips below so we can collaborate.