Making classroom materials more motivating for teenagers… and teachers!

Stuart Vinnie

We don't often get a choice in the materials we use with our classes and this can sometimes mean that the topics don't connect with the students' interests and experiences. In these situations, what we usually try to do is adapt the material to make it more motivating for the class. We might try to personalize and localize the content so that it has more impact on the learners, or we might need to make an activity longer or shorter, or more challenging/less challenging. In fact, the way we design and/or adapt classroom activities can have a huge effect on the success of the learning. In this session, we'll first examine the criteria that make an activity or a lesson enjoyable, purposeful, practical, flexible and productive. We will then evaluate a set of teaching examples, based on these criteria, and look at ways of adapting the ideas where necessary, making the materials more motivating for our classes.