Q1 Is there a need for a main hook in a lesson?
Q2 When does a hook become a gimmick?
Q3 Is it right to deceive pupils to create a learning experience? (Example: Crashed UFO or crime scene)
Q4 What role can technology play in creating a hook?
Q5 How can you ‘play on the senses’ to create lesson stimuli?
Q6 Describe your favourite lesson stimuli you have used or seen.
Q7 How can peers be used to help provide lesson hooks for classmates or other pupils?
Q8 What stimuli do/can you use beyond the classroom walls?
The session began which ukedchatters’ views about whether lessons required a hook, or at least a main hook for every lesson. There was lots of discussion about the need to engage and many different techniques and ideas were offered. Some consensus was reached about the need for a hook for a stand-alone lesson, but many lessons were part of an on-going project or series which drew on the hook from a previous lesson.
The discussion moved on to where a hook becomes a gimmick. There was no agreement here. One person’s hook is a gimmick to others and situation is key, but it seemed that the general feeling was that the focus needed to be on the learning, not the method/tool/resource being used.
I enjoy setting up a fictitious situation. Classic examples are mocking up a UFO crash site or a crime scene to act as stimuli for lessons. I asked the participants about how they felt about deceiving children in this way. Most chatters were enthusiastically positive about using role play in this way and many people shared their own examples. Only one participants I could see had a zero tolerance approach to this.
The main question was about how tech can help with this. I won’t go into the details here. See the archive for that. However, it should be mentioned that some people felt tech had nothing to give, while others used tech a main feature of the hook.
This was expanded on during the question about how tech can be use to create a sensory experience. Personally, I feel that using audio is an evocative way of immersing someone into another place, and many agreed. Once again, many great ideas can be seen in the archive.
The chatter then shared some of their favourite hooks that they have seen or used. The discussion included how peers can be used to help develop a hook. Many responded with ‘by going with it’ in whatever manner was necessary. This may include doing prep in some form before the lesson, or be simply willingly suspending their disbelief to accommodate the imaginary situation for a while.
The chat concluded with a discussion about how teachers can use stimuli from outside the classroom and even collaborate with others. The two main answers were unsurprisingly using the school grounds and school trips. It seemed that many participants regretted not doing more of this.
While a hook isn’t strictly necessary for every lesson, it makes the lesson so much more engaging for both pupils and teachers and requires the ingenuity and creativity which keeps us in this profession.