An easy way to spice up any lesson is to remove the god-awful samples and replace them with selections from great works of art, music, film, tv shows, and historic moments. You get the added bonus of exposing students to new ideas.
All AboutDifferentiate With Classics
Easily my favorite differentiation technique, when we expose students to classics or other important ideas, we get to sneak in greatness that is otherwise outside our curriculum.
Why use a boring sample sentence from your textbook when you could grab a sentence from Hemingway, Poe, Shakespeare, or Zora Neale Hurston?
Want to practice comparing and contrasting? Use a blue-period Picasso along with a piece from his cubist period. Or use a Kandinsky and a Mondrian. Or a Volkswagen ad from 1960 and an ad from 2020.
I once introduced the comprehension skill of cause and effect using The Beatles.
Are any of these topics my actual curriculum? Nope. But sneaking in classics is exciting, interesting, and creates well-educated students.
Here are some articles that build on the idea of exposing students to classics:
I love collecting intriguing images and videos – things that stop me in my tracks and pique my curiosity. I always figure that if it fascinates me, students would probably be interested also. Often, these visuals work as wonderful hooks for a lesson you need to teach.
This type of sentence has great possibilities for classroom application because of its two different interpretations. It’s a perfect tool to: demonstrate careful reading, showcase the need for editing while writing, and encourage creativity and divergent thinking.
Let’s see how we can use a classic piece of poetry to enhance a lesson on parts of speech or context clues. This provides exposure to a great work and also increases the complexity of a typical task.
With Halloween approaching, it’s a great time to expose students to some spooky classics. Lucky for us, many of these stories are in the public domain and freely available in many formats.
Exposing students to great pieces of art is an easy way to enhance a lesson, provide a visual way to practice a skill, and educate our students beyond the prescribed curriculum. Here’s a list of works that you can easily grab and use in your class.
Integrating a classic is a great way to pump up an otherwise simple lesson. It seems like a black and white movie is the last thing a kid would want to see, but classics are classics for a reason!
For my students, simply teaching a direct instruction lesson about cause and effect is a recipe for boredom and behavior problems. My solution involved bringing in a little help from The Beatles.
I combined my utility Paragraphy with Project Gutenberg, The Differentiator, and The Wizard Of Oz to create a differentiated lesson about how to order sentences within a paragraph for gifted students.
As teachers, I spend a ton of time searching for inspiration to enliven my lessons. But sometimes, inspiration hits as soon as you leave the desk and books behind. Friday my wife and I took a trip to Disneyland and saw this unbelievable (literally, it seems like magic) intersection of art & technology.