Imagine that you are sitting in the movie theater waiting for the latest popular movie to begin. With the popcorn bucket on your lap and drink in hand, you are ready.
The lights dim, and the movie commences. You begin to watch the opening scene and here’s what you hear: “Welcome to this movie. In this movie, you’ll meet a boy and girl. They are going to fall in love and live happily ever after.”
Um…what? Talk about boring (not to mention a spoiler-alert)! Your interest as the viewer has flown right out the window and you’re beginning to wonder if it’s worth staying till the end. Chances are, it’s not.
Luckily, movies DON’T start that way. In fact, there’s usually a pretty epic scene to start out the movie in order to grab the viewer’s attention. Movie makers know that the first few minutes can make or break the movie. If they fail to peak the viewer’s interest in their opener, the viewer checks out.
Consider this: Your introduction to new content is like the start of an epic movie. And how you choose to introduce that new information can make it or break it.
Our students can be some of the toughest viewers and critics. If we present new information to our students like the above scenario, stating “today we are going to learn about…”, their attention vanishes and their minds begin to wonder if we are worth listening to.
While teachers aren’t trained movie producers, we can still use some tricks and strategies to grab our students’ attention and get them excited about the new information they are about to learn. Here are just a few of the ways that you can hook your learners right from the start.