Direct Instruction Is On My Mind

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How much do you think Jordan has spent trying to look like Kim Kardashian?

This was the starter for a lesson which needed to practise the skills of analysis and comparison.  It was: the hook, the anticipatory set.  It was planning for behaviour management, planning for engagement and motivation.

Reading ‘Direct Instruction Revisited:  A Key Model for Instructional Technology’  by Magliaro, Lockee and Burton placed the notion of the ‘hook’ in context for me.  It comes from Madeline Hunter’s remodeling of the 1966 Direct Instruction model to include the ‘anticipatory set’.

As an English teacher, discovering topics which enliven endless skills practice is my constant quest.  The objectives and purpose of a lesson are so often similar, that the topic becomes vital.  It was an article in ‘Closer’ which captured my attention this time:  A young girl who had already spent £47,000 on surgery.  It offered both a meaty topic and some in-your-face presentational features for analysis.

Once I had found the first article, the next question in my planning was:  What to compare it to in order to provide practice in comparative skills?  A complete contrast of presentation and purpose seemed sensible;  a leaflet from a hospital, offering information to patients who were about to undergo surgery, was chosen.  Which type of surgery?  How close to the line could I push it?  I bottled it and chose ear-pinning.  

The lesson began with fact but quickly moved to include evaluative comments and a more personal slant:  Would you have surgery?  Enough interest had been awoken that the ‘Closer’ text was well received.  Introducing the less dramatic hospital information leaflet came last when more detailed technical information was accepted by students who had questions in their minds from the previous more emotive sources.  The ‘hook’ had served its purpose.

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