Entering classes have enormous potential: They can activate the students’ willingness to learn, motivate them and awaken their spirit of discovery. You can find out how to do this and what you should consider here. We provide five specific ideas for a successful lesson in secondary school. Motivational lessons: tips and ideas.
The start of lessons – often underestimated
Successful lessons can be much more than just the prelude to the following 45 or 90 minutes: They can act as “appetizers” and make the students want to take part in the lessons. You can make it easier to arrive at the lesson and awaken the willingness to learn. You can clear your head for new topics, motivate and arouse interest. You can spark enthusiasm for a topic and arouse the spirit of discovery.
There is therefore enormous potential in a good start into the classroom that you should use for your classes. Five concrete alternatives to the pure .
Good entry points: functions and requirements
At the beginning of a one-to-one lesson or at the start of a new lesson, starting a lesson can effectively introduce the students to a new topic. Introducing the topic, goals and course of the lesson can also provide orientation and give the students an idea of where the journey should go. He can also show the connections to topics that have already been worked on or future topics – and thus link old and new knowledge.
For all of this to happen, you need to pick up the students from where they are. In addition, when choosing a method you should always consider the specific situation in the particular learning group. The group dynamics is an important factor in determining which method works and makes sense in the respective class. Not every entry suits every group. The start of the lesson that you choose should ideally also address the very individual knowledge, experience, abilities and skills as well as the strengths of the students. In this way, you can leverage previously unused potential. Make sure that the start of the lesson is actually comprehensible for all students – you have to find a common denominator even with heterogeneous learning groups.
Methods of arrival
Your students and you must first arrive at the lesson. If you are still thinking about the last lesson, have been annoyed during the break and are still grumbling to yourself or have to hurry in such a way that you are completely out of breath, you can hardly get involved in the following lesson. A pleasant learning environment and a clear head are crucial for learning success.
Start by uncovering motivation killers and specifically questioning your weaker self. For this purpose, give students aged 14 and over a worksheet on which they should write down what slows down their motivation. They should not read the result aloud, but think about ways to increase their motivation. An example could be: “I don’t feel like doing maths today. But I plan to report at least three times and after the lesson I’ll buy myself a chocolate bar at the kiosk.” It is important that the students find possible solutions for their “motivational brakes” themselves. This is the only way they can actually overcome their weaker self.
Alternatively, you can also start with the “current hour”, for example. You can read a current newspaper clipping, show a photo or simply bring up a topic that is currently being widely discussed in the media. Ask students what they know about it and how they think about it, but if necessary, simply let them express concern. Current topics often move the students very strongly – from the age of 10 they can express themselves well in class.
Thematic motivation ideas
So that you can motivate the students for the specific topic, they must first become familiar with it. Ideally, you awaken the students’ “instinct” so that they develop questions of their own accord and want to investigate the matter.
For classes with students aged 10 and over, you can start as a storyteller, for example: You tell a short story, an anecdote or even a fairy tale to introduce the topic of the lesson. The core message and the background to the story can then be examined in more detail in the following lesson. In every subject there are famous personalities – for example Albert Einstein, Franz Kafka or Marie Curie – to whom you can contribute exciting anecdotes. If possible, however, make sure that you are actually telling the story and not just reading aloud – that makes the story more lively and impressive.
Alternatively, you can start with a demonstration to help students illustrate abstract content through objects or media. The more senses you address, the better – the students should dare to see, hear, smell, taste and / or feel the subject.
If you’d rather start with a worksheet instead of using demonstrations right away, think about a couple of exciting lies as an exception: Students aged 10 and over can hand out an introductory text on the lesson topic. In it you mention a lot of interesting facts, but not all of them are true – some are exaggerated, others are simply wrong. The students now become active as detectives: they have to find out which of the statements are true and which are not. To do this, they do their own research in the appropriate source of information, for example in school books, specialist books, encyclopedias or on the Internet. The solutions are then discussed together.
Be courageous: just try it out!
You should take inner barriers seriously and not just ignore them – this applies to both your students and your own inner attitude. Not every entry suits you and not every method suits your class. So keep observing how your students and yourself feel about the start of the lesson and whether or how they work. Start with what you feel confident about and stay open to new ideas. Because only when you have tried something do you know whether you and your students like it.