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For high school students, I found it nice to use a Jumpstart in which they are committed to the delivery. Each student is assigned a date and they must present. It teaches students to make connections to text and to the main concepts taught.
1. The unit taught: What if its a movie? What would be the music used to inspire students to be engaged in the subject? Students must say what inspired them to connect with what is being taught.
2. The unit taught: have the students become newscasters in which they report the daily local or world news, or report what the unit is addressing. Example In the news today, the war between Britain and Germany has just gone global! The United States has just joined the war and we will now call it World War II!
3. I've used poetry, especially when I need students to connect to early American events. Here's how the Call of the Light Brigade just happened over the hill... or something to that effect. Then students realize that humans lived during that time and history will come alive for them.
Hope these ideas help.
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