Tech Talk Roundtable 06-11 | Get The Hook!


Well, it is that most wonderful time of the year,

With the kids jingle belling,

And everyone telling,

you be of good cheer…

So, be of good cheer! Today we gleefully and cheerfully explore the art and science of creating lesson hooks that are sure to grab students’ attention and heighten their interest in the lesson to come.

Lessons Learned

Chris – We are so bombarded with attempts to grab our attention that I am reminded of a simple but important maxim. If you are going to get someone’s attention be sure that you have something important to say. Then, say it concisely. Habituating this practice with cause others to give you time when you ask for it because they will come to understand that you respect their time.

Daniel –  From Adam Amster NCPA – using HP reveal as a more independent gallery walk.  It worked well for a year level share out, instead of having each student present face to face.  The students who presented it felt less pressure and could go around and watch other students.

Dennis – Get Creative with Tour Creator.  Don’t have a 360 Camera? Why not DRAW your own 360 images and bring them into Google Tour Creator.  Thanks to Clay Smith for posting this online tutorial and a shout out to Howard Martin in Austin, TX for sharing it with me.

Fun Fact

US Patent: US1747893A

Applied: 1929-03-23

Approved 1930-02-18

Inventor: Fisher Frank

Title: Christmas-tree-ornament fastener

Story: Christmas trees, legend informs, were introduced to Germany by Saint Boniface in the 8th century (triangular shape suggesting the trinity). Glass-blown Christmas ornaments began in Germany, also, in the 17th century. So, what do you need when you have Christmas trees and Christmas ornaments? Well, Christmas hooks, of course! Germans did that, too, or German-Americans, that is. In 1929 a patent was approved for inventor Carl H Schultz and his “Ornament hanger for christmas trees.” It took one more year, however, for inventor Fisher Frank to have his creation, the “Christmas-tree-ornament fastener,” to be approved as being sufficient unique to qualify for a patent. This second patent is the first patent to have the distinctive shape of today’s ubiquitous Christmas hook.


Notes & Links

The Elements of a Strong Hook:


  • Related to what students are about to learn
  • Explains why that content and/or skill is important
  • Connects to prior learning, if possible
  • (Best for last) Captures students interest


1) Demonstration


Science classes are great for these. The power of gyros, chemical reactions, etc. Science often looks like magic, and magic is fun.

LINK: Dale’s Cone of Experience


2) Discrepant event


  • Bernoulli Effect (bur-new-li)
  • Every cell in our bodies is replaced within five years, so we are not, physically, the same people we were five years ago. How is it that we have memories from the far past?


3) KWL chart

  • What do you know?
  • What do you want to know?
  • What have you learned?


4) Quickwrite

This could be super-sneaky and fun because you can ask students to write about something they enjoyed or are proud of and turn it into a lesson opening.

  • Write about a time you actually figured out a way to avoid a fight. How did you do it? (Cuban Missile Crisis)
  • Write about a time … related to a similar situation in a piece of literature about to be examined. How did it make you feel?
  • “Has the earth always looked the way it does today? If not, how has it changed? what changed it?”


5) Read an interesting article or blurb

In my Morality & Ethics class I could read an article a day. Really, no problem here.


6) Real world problem



7) Image, video or audio clip – Gospel according to the Simpsons

I like to occasionally juxtapose images that create dissonance in my History classes to stir conversation and debate. For the Civil War I might use an image of soldiers posing in uniform, have the students discuss and analyze the image, then flip the image to one of casualties lined on the ground at Gettysburg. It is a gut punch, and can be highly effective is used sparingly.


8.) Controversial statements or hot topics

Just be a bit sensitive on this one.


About miles.mei

Multimedia Specialist

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