Wednesday, August 17, 2016

TLAP: Presentation Hooks, Part 2

I am reading and reflecting on the book Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. The "pirate" philosophy is built on these things: Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask/Analyze, Transformation, and Enthusiasm.

Dave Burgess uses Part II of the book to list some different types of presentation hooks, ways to engage students in lessons. The book contains questions to ask about teaching lessons so teachers can think about how to use the different engagement strategies.

Here's the continuation of the types of presentation hooks. I like that Burgess gives lots of questions and lots of different types of hooks to engage students.

All the World's a Stage - Change or control the environment of the lesson.
  • The Interior Designer Hook - Transforming the room/space in some way
  • The Board Message Hook - Adding a message/image to the board or screen to intrigue students
  • The Costume Hook - Wearing something or adopting a new persona 
  • The Props Hook - Bringing objects to hold or using images 
  • The Involved Audience Hook - Incorporating students in active ways
  • The Mystery Bag Hook - Hiding or concealing something

Stand and Deliver - Develop engaging speaking skills.
  • The Storytelling Hook - Using captivating stories or various voices, intonations, facial expressions, and dramatic pauses
  • The Swimming with the Sharks Hook - Moving through the audience or in other parts of the room
  • The Taboo Hook - Positioning the topic as secret or forbidden knowledge
  • The Mime Hook - Using silence, gestures, and written messages (no speaking)
  • The Teaser Hook - Creating expectancy through promos, teasers, and trailers
  • The Backward Hook - Presenting material out of sequence or telling the end and letting them figure out the beginning

Advanced Tactics - Take your presentations a step further.
  • The Mission Impossible Hook - Incorporating mystery, clues, and challenges
  • The Reality TV Hook - Using challenges from popular reality TV
  • The Techno Whiz Hook - Utilizing technology in different ways as tools for engagement

Around the Edges - Put the finishing touches on the learning experience.
  • The Contest Hook - Incorporating games or contests part of learning or review
  • The Magic and The Amazing Hook - Adding in amazing information, skills, or magical effects
  • The Chef Hook - Using food and drink in meaningful and strategic ways
  • The Mnemonic Hook - Creating ways for students to connect and remember
  • The Extra Credit Challenge Hook - Developing projects or challenges that could lead students to experience more beyond the classroom and the lesson

So What?
I've taken two posts to list all the different types of ways that Dave Burgess suggests could be used to engage students in learning. I like all the questions that he uses to help us think through the different hooks. In this way, the book is a great reference for creating effective teaching presentations. Think through, make strategic choices, just add content - and you can be better at engaging and connecting with students.

But more than that, these lists of ideas and questions - this book - is about being intentional. (Makes me think of that other book I read!) Making choices and setting the stage deliberately. Thinking about the total learning experience...especially from the students' point of view. I don't teach history to teenagers like Dave Burgess did. But I do have little learners who are coming to my classroom. They will be coming to the space with expectations and agendas and interests and ideas. I must think about them, about content, about myself - and make all those things come together in the best way possible. The kids deserve for me to think about what I'm doing - about every aspect of what they will experience. 

Recently our new group of kindergartners came to my church classroom. They are a diverse group with different needs and abilities. One of my girls noticed a green wedge of paper on the ceiling. It's been there for months. I saw it but just ignored it. She was distracted by it. She kept pointing at it and wanted me to get it down. I didn't have an easy way to do that at the moment so I told her I would take care of it before she came back this week. So I was standing on a chair, stretching to remove a wedge of paper...creating an environment that all my learners could concentrate and work within. I should have kept that paper as a reminder to think about all the elements in my classroom. (I didn't; it's gone now.)

But she noticed. And that's the important thing. 

An environment ready for everyone to learn in.


  1. Thanks for writing such reflective posts about TLAP! I have enjoyed reading your thoughts!

    1. Thank you for reading the posts. I'm honored.