Teach Like a Pirate: Don’t Forget Your Hooks!

As a pirate, one cannot go anywhere without their hook. Or, in this case, hooks. Part II of Teach Like a Pirate is all about hooks, and how to use them within your lesson. Hooks help you reel in the students, and keep them engaged. Burgess has created hooks for a variety of scenarios and situations, and based on my reading, it seems like keeping this part of the book close at hand will help any pirate-in-training as they plan new lessons.

The following hooks were mentioned in this part of the book:

  • Kinesthetic
  • People prop
  • Safari
  • Picasso
  • Mozart
  • Dance and Drama
  • Craft Store
  • Student Hobby
  • Real World Application
  • Life-Changing Lesson
  • Student-Directed
  • Opportunistic
  • Interior Design
  • Board Message
  • Costume
  • Props
  • Involved Audience
  • Mystery Bag
  • Storytelling
  • Swimming with the Sharks
  • Taboo
  • Mime
  • Teaser
  • Backwards
  • Mission Impossible
  • Reality TV
  • Techno Whiz
  • Contest
  • Magic and the Amazing
  • Chef
  • Mnemonic
  • Extra-Credit Challenge

Wow, what a list! This is why keeping the book handy during the planning stages is recommended because there’s no way anyone could keep track of all of the different hooks and what each one means.

Hooks are ways to take one’s lesson to the next level. They allow teachers to keep students involved and engaged in the lesson beyond just giving the basics. Teachers know their content area and many have spent years and years learning the knowledge that they now currently possess. Knowing the content is one thing; getting it into the hands of students is entirely another.

I think back to some teachers and professors that I’ve had in the past who knew a lot about their subject matter, but they were some of the most boring presenters. It didn’t matter what they were telling me because I tuned out. Chances are, I was doodling in my notebook and taking notes when I thought something was important. Really I was just counting down until the class ended and I could do something more interesting, or when it was time to go eat.

Hooks are ways for teachers to present their content and engage those students who are often bored and off task. With the particular list above, a teacher doesn’t have to use every single hook all of the time. They should instead peruse the list and decide which hook would work best with the particular lesson. It’s not enough to just decide to use a hook. Like with technology, the hook should be chosen to suit the lesson, not vice versa.

I am going to start with the hooks I am most comfortable with and branch out from there. I am really hoping that the workshop breakouts at Copenhaver will address the hooks and give us time to incorporate them into our lessons. I think I’ll start with preparing for my presentations at WVSTC because the lessons are finished and simply need to have some engaging presenter flair added.

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