5 Simple Steps To An Interactive Lesson
Created on June 18, 2020
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5 simple steps
Find a tool
Choose one activity
Rinse and repeat
Interactive learning is more than a powerpoint followed by discussion questions, and it comes with a philosophy. The idea is to create lessons that require participation without necessarily asking that all students participate publically.
An effective interactive lesson should:
1. Make students see the impact they have on their learning. This is an updated take on "letting every voice be heard" and one that works well even for shyer or less confident students.
2. Offer opportunities for discovery. Students see they have an impact when you give them the opportunity to. You can do so by offering simple choices during a lesson or an all-out choose-your-own-adventure game. Choice boards are a happy medium here. An easy way to provide a sense of agency is by hiding information for students to find.
Click on the button with the ellipsis (...) to expand this creation.
3. Include the essentials and leave room for expansion. Once you've built the non-negociable items (ie. key definitions) into your activity, consider opting for fun or interesting facts and videos over an exhaustive history.
Now that we have our guiding principles in place, we need a tool to help us turn our ideas into an interactive lesson. Finding an all-in-one tool will cut down on the time you'd need to learn a different tool for each kind of creation, and we all know how precious a teacher's time is.
I use Genially, a free all-in-one tool for creating interactive and animated creations (presentations, infographics, games, escape rooms, interactive images, etc). Once you're inside your tool of choice, set aside a bit of time to learn the basics of how it works. I relied on simple and easy-to-follow articles from Genially's Help Center when getting started. You can also join Genially's free Academy for full courses that iwill turn you into a pro.
Now is not the time to bite off more than you can chew. Choose a single activity you'd like to breathe life into. You might be looking to transform a worksheet into a maze with a code at the end or to create an interactive image out of some short videos you'd like students to watch. That's a good place to start!
This is hands down my favorite presentation template of all time.
If you're looking to make anything beyond an interactive image, consider seeing if your tool offers templates that can fit what you have in mind. Pre-designed templates will save you tons of time, and they were a big part of why I decided to choose Genially. Genially offers well over 1000 templates as well as the option to start from scratch.
Click on the button in the bottom-right-hand corner to find the expand option to see this math maze up close.
Now that you have one interactive activity under your belt, you can start building more complete lesson plans and working interactive activities into your classes.