Bring That Textbook to Life!
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." - Albert Einstein
Your textbook is just another tool in your teacher’s instructional kit. The problem is that for many of us it becomes a crutch when we first begin lesson planning. The textbook can be very useful for planning curriculums and lessons. It is a framework and guide that provides us a general overview of what should be covered within our classes. However, for our learners the textbook is often boring and tedious. No learner wants to spend hours sitting down reading or answering questions from a textbook. Below are tips and resources to bring your textbook to life. Feel free to download the slides.
#1. TOC (Table of Contents) – What do you know?
- List the chapter titles on the board
- Under each title, students write down anything they know about the topic even if it doesn’t show up in the chapter
- Students stay around the board and guess who wrote what
- The student who wrote the info talks more about it
- This will get your students to tie prior learning to new learning they encounter for those chapters!
- Students can write information on a Post-it note
- Pass the note to another learner who guesses what chapter the information would relate to
- At the introduction to any chapter, have students find a link on Google that relates to the chapter topic then post on a stickyboard
- Linoit and Popplet both have free mobile apps
- List the topic of each chapter on a calendar
- Create an Instagram class account and post photo challenges
- Divide students in small groups according to the number of readings and have each group be responsible each week for teaching aspects of that chapter to the class
- I gave my high school students requirements, such as they had to have the class participate in at least one hands-on activity, give us a timeline, use multimedia materials to present information, give an interactive assessment/reading/listening
- Give guidelines, rubrics, checklists, and examples on what students need to complete their task
- Divide students in small groups according to the number of sectioned readings in the chapter
- Students create word clouds of the text and pass onto to another group who tries to discover what that section is about
- Find resources here!
- Various graphic organizers like the KWL chart are great for getting students engaged with information in a textbook! Check out a previous presentation and the resources I collected here.
- Twiddla is one of my favorite tools for getting students to collaboratively mindmap online. They have voice features, no registration is required, and students can add images to their boards. Must take a screen shot of the board if you are not registered.
- Popplet is a collaborative online tool and free app on the iPad to get students collaborating for free!
- Have students create their own online digital games related to the topic. Find out how in my presentation, Level Up! Engaging Students by Having Them Create a Digital Game
- Find a classroom game to make it interesting! Many games listed here in my Pinterest!
- Trivia Pursuit, Apples to Apples, Monopoly, Clue, Twister, and other board games are great ways to support materials
- Have students create their own board games related to chapters at Boggles World
- Divide students into small groups, give chapter sections into topics each group is responsible for
- Each group must make a presentation and the other groups critique/take notes as they prepare for their comprehensive assessment with each groups’ findings
- Resources on Cooperative Learning here!
- Divide students into pairs and have them bring a section reading to life with multimedia or relating the information to modern terms
- Take dialogues from the text and have students modernize them either through role plays or with video creation tools like Ben and Tom Newsreporter, Sockpuppets and PuppetPals
- Your students can create short films, movie previews, silent films and more. Discover more here!
- Try developing opinion polls or have students create their own opinion polls and poll another class in the same subject
- Find several polling tools here!
- Encourage your students to collaborate to create multimedia books of each chapter or as supplements to chapters.
- They can even create
- They can store these online in Dropbox, on their desktops, mobile devices, flash drives or tablets so they have the materials everywhere they go
- Several free sites support collaborative writing! Check for examples and tools here!
- Your students can have ongoing radio shows or podcasts about the topics. Discover more here!
- Your students can translate the book into a comic. Discover more here!