- "Mind's Eye: A Pre-Reading Strategy" from The Cult of Pedagogy: "The teacher chooses 20-30 important words from the text. Before students do any reading at all, the teacher reads the words aloud to students — slowly, pausing in between words. As they listen, students form mental pictures, predicting what the text will be about. Then they read the text and compare it to their predictions."According to blog author Melissa Gonzalez, the strategy "grabs students’ attention before they ever read a single word and creates a mystery that can only be solved by reading the text." (Find more reading strategies here.)
- "Miming, Freeze-Framing, Body Sculptures," from teacher genius Russell Tarr at Tarr's Toolbox. "Freeze Framing involves getting students, working usually in small groups, to construct a scene which is then photographed and explained. This should represent a key action moment ‘frozen in time’ to capture energy. ... Body sculpture is similar, except in this case there is a group leader responsible (sometimes silently) for ‘moulding’ the rest of the group into place.... Miming / Charades is another useful strategy. In silence, different students have to act out a key concept, event or scene. Other students gain points if they guess these correctly. (He gives all the students the concepts ahead of time.)
- Glenn Wiebe, author of one of my other favorite blogs, HistoryTech, provides alternatives to lecturing in his post "It puts kids to sleep. And just so ya know ... that's a bad thing. (Plus 18 ways to make it better)". Among the strategies he lists are "Word Sorts" and "Crop It" (one of my all-time favorites).
Do you have a strategy that you think works particularly well? Email me about it and I'll share it with the group.