Ep 197: 3 Low-Prep Ideas to Create Defining Moments in Your ELA Class  - EB Academics

Ep 197: 3 Low-Prep Ideas to Create Defining Moments in Your ELA Class 

Today, we’re going to share 3 low-prep ideas you can use in your classroom to surprise and delight your students and make the lesson memorable. These ideas all make wonderful “into” lessons. If you are new to the podcast, an “into” lesson is part of the EB Lesson Planning Framework, which consists of into, through, and beyond lessons. 

Think of an “into” lesson as 1-2 class periods at the start of a unit that hooks your students and/or provides background knowledge that will help them succeed during the unit! We’re going to break this down by sharing a defining moment idea and then give you an action item. Because it’s great to hear these a-ha moments, but the magic happens when you take inspired action in your classrooms!

Tune in now to hear:

  • [0:37] Jessica starts sharing a story of her son’s kindergarten teacher Mrs. Perich who created a peak experience for her students by boosting her lesson’s sensory appeal and drawing inspiration from our highly recommended book The Power of Moments.
  • [3:04] According to the book, sensory appeal is taking reality and then “turning up the volume.” Mrs. Perich demonstrated this in her class by boosting her class’ sensory appeal and “breaking the script”.
  • [5:35] Caitlin touches on 3 low-prep ideas you can use in your classroom to make your classes memorable.
  • [6:30] Idea #1 for creating a defining moment in your ELA Class: playing an audio that relates to the unit you are beginning.
  • [7:28] Jessica continues discussing idea #1: you can let your students predict the setting of the story by listening to the audio you provide such as the sound of thunder, rain, traffic, city noises, etc. You can even let them participate in a five-word wonder where they are provided five words that are related to the story.
  • [10:39] Jessica shares idea #2: boosting sensory appeal by intentionally changing what students see in the classroom and focusing on the visuals this time.
  • [14:08] Caitlin touches on the action item for this idea: Consider the short stories or novels that you plan on teaching this year that would be perfect for a heightened visual experience. Choose one and determine an interesting question or phrase that will hook your students and pair it with a corresponding visual for that particular text.
  • [15:32] Jessica moves on to idea #3: Flipping the script so that students don’t experience the same typical ELA class period. Make them sort paragraphs by TAG, summary, or claim, and have them play roles in solving mysteries in the story/unit you’re trying to teach.
  • [20:18] Another action item for you: How can you flip the script in your own classroom in a way that’s similar to this example we’ve provided? Consider an ELA topic you will be addressing this year.
  • [21:26] Caitlin provides some examples on how you can “flip the script” depending on whether you’re teaching phrases and clauses, narrative writing, or a socratic seminar.
  • [25:29] We hope this episode sparked ideas for you in creating defining moments in your ELA classroom! Make sure to listen to our upcoming episode where we share a no-prep Halloween activity that your students will LOVE! You’ll be sure to boost sensory appeal and break the script!

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Then, pick the date you’re going to teach it in your classroom, and sit back while you watch as your students show up to your classroom pumped about what the day holds…and gush about your class to their parents on the car ride home!

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