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Monday, July 15, 2013

Teach Like a Pirate- Move It, The Arts

 Welcome to Teach Like a Pirate! We have made it to Part 2 and we are starting to look at some Teaching Hooks!


Some reminders-
1. For my CHES people, this book study is voluntary (and fun!). You are in no way required to read this book, but if you participate you may count this on your PD form for next year.

2. There will be discussion questions during the study. Your answers and comments will be the accountability piece of the PD. All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of the post with your addition to the discussion.

3. To quote my Momma, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Let's not get snarky. (That goes for me as well. I'll keep my sarcasm to a bare minimum. Lord, help me.)

4. Have fun! This book is all about how to become a better, more energetic, more joyful educator. Some parts may resonate more with you than others and that's OK. Take what pieces of information work for you and use them. The rest, you can toss overboard. 

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"Much of your success as an educator had to do with your attitude towards teaching and towards kids. The rest of your success is based on your willingness to relentlessly search for what engages students in the classroom and then having the guts to do it." (Burgess p.84)

"...don't take it too seriously. Be willing to have fun with the process." (Burgess p.85)

The hooks that Burgess shares are really brain teasers for teachers when they are creating lessons. It goes back to the Ask & Analyze section of the book. If you don't ask the questions, you'll never come up with the answers.  So teachers- ask these questions!

I Like to Move It, Move It: Hooks based on movement

Why add motion to your lessons? Movement increases blood and oxygen flow to your brain, your brain is used to think, ergo- motion helps you think!

I am not going to list all of the hooks that Burgess includes- I do want you to read the book for yourself!

Kinesthetic Hook: 9 total in the book
  • How can I incorporate movement into this lesson?
  • Can we incorporate gestures and motions that students could do from their desks?
  • Can I use a game that incorporates movement and action to enhance this lesson?
 There is a teaching style that is sweeping the nation right now called Whole Brain Teaching. It has students and teachers both moving, chanting, and staying engaged in lessons. You don't have to watch the whole thing- just enough to get the idea.

Here is an example of how Whole Brain Teaching can be used in a 3rd grade class. Students are using motions and are actively engaged in their learning.  Ms. Chastain used some of the Whole Brain chants and rules in her classroom this past year and she liked the results. This might not work in all classrooms, but bits and pieces are worth a try!

One point that Burgess made that I think is fabulous- it's OK to add movement to your lesson in order to add fun! For the sole purpose of adding fun to a lesson!
Read pages 89-91 to see how Burgess added movement to his "Henry's Freedom Box" lesson.

People Prop Hook: 4 total

  • How can you use students as props in your lessons?
 I remember back in my student teaching days when I had one of my 8th grade science classes act out the parts and jobs of the human ear when we studied sound. They thought I was crazy, but they really enjoyed it! I'm proud to say that 90% of them could label the parts of the ear on the assessment at the end of the lesson as well!

The Safari Hook: 5 total


  • How can you take your lesson and turn it into a mini field trip to another part of campus?
"You have freedom to do all sorts of activities outside the confines of your classroom, so get outside!" (Burgess p.93)

** Discussion Question: Looking back to p.87-88 on kinesthetic hooks, which hook would be the easiest to incorporate into your class?**

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"Long Live the Arts"

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." - Pablo Picasso

The hooks in this chapter center around adding all forms of creativity into your lessons.

The Picasso Hook: 6 total

  • How can I incorporate art into this lesson?
  • Can students create visuals of key information as a way to review for an assessment?
Early last year I was sent to a SIOP training for how to reach English Language Learners.  One of the techniques given was to use picture representations for everything, especially when teaching new vocabulary.

In my classroom, we use picture vocabulary a lot, especially in science. The majority of my animal classifications lesson is taught using pictures and student drawings. During the assessment that goes with the lesson, I'll have students who will draw pictures in the margins and match the pictures with the written definitions. That's cool with me! Using pictures is also helpful when dealing with students with special needs. Some of my previous students would us my drawings and orally describe what the pictures represent. Again, that's ok with me!


"The Picasso Hook allows students to review and recall material from the lecture in a different way. The simple fact that they are interacting with the concepts again is beneficial." (Burgess p. 96)

The Mozart Hook: 12 total

  • How can I use music to aid my presentation?
  • Can students change the lyrics to popular songs to reflect course content?
Burgess encourages students to change words to songs for learning purposes, but don't forget that you as an educator can do it too!
I have created a few songs to go along with my lessons. Here are just a few:



As performed here by my 1st graders in {THIS} post

The Friendly Letter song was actually created by Ms. Roach and myself while we were outside at recess. :)

Another was I've incorporated music into a lesson is when we learned about singular and plural nouns. We used Julie Andrews!

You might remember the lesson from {THIS} post.
 I fully intent to have my students create and perform their own songs next year. And I hope to use music in even more of my lessons!

"If you want to change the atmosphere in the classroom, sometimes all that is required is a change (or addition) of a song." (Burgess p. 98)

"Music is too powerful a force to ignore in your classroom." (Burgess p.99)

The Dance & Drama Hook: 6 total

  • Can I provide the opportunity for my students to do skits or appear in videos related to what we are learning?
 If there's one thing I've learned since starting my blog 2 years ago it is this: my students might act shy when I ask them to do something in front of the camera, but just wait until I push the play button! Every girl turns into a diva, and every boy turns into a rock star. That's the power of technology!

When we studied Author's Purpose and informative writing, I had my students create commercials on different how-to topics. This was around the holidays, so the topics were things like "How to Build a Snowman". The kids had a great time and they loved getting to go to the computer lab later to see themselves on the blog.


"Providing variety in the way students can access your curriculum and display their knowledge of it ensures that you are reaching everyone." (Burgess p.100)

If your student can teach the content to another person, then the student understands the content. Why not have the student "teach" in front of the camera? Turn it into a mock news story or infomercial. Let the student use props or interview other students. Have fun with it!

The Craft Store Hook: 5 total
  • How can I incorporate a craft into this lesson?
Many years ago, during a Dr. Seuss week, we read And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street
If you've never read it, it's about a boy who sees a horse and cart on his way home. He thinks that's too dull, so he slowly changes his story about a horse and cart into a huge parade with lots of animals and people. 

After the story I had my class stretch their creativity by giving them 2 craft items. The 2 items represented the horse and cart in the story. My students were then to use crayons, markers, and pencils to draw a beautiful picture around the 2 items that they glued on their paper. 

When everyone was done, each student got to come to the front of the class to show how they turned 2 boring items into a masterpiece. 

Depending on the school and your budget, you will probably have to keep random craft items on hand.  On the plus side, it's fun to research how many educational uses there are for a paper plate or toilet paper roll!


** Discussion Question- Share a time you used either music, art, drama, or crafts in your lesson. Was it a hit?**

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