Don’t Lecture By Yourself1 min read
In 1970, a man named Edward Packard was telling his daughters a bedtime story about a character he made up named Pete. Every night, Pete would encounter different adventures on an isolated island, and Packard would make up an adventure for Pete on the spot. But one night, Edward Packard ran out of things for Pete to do. If you are a parent, you know exactly what this guy was going through.
So with no ideas for what Pete was going to do next, Packard asked his daughters what the character did. Each daughter came up with a different idea for Pete’s adventure, and so Packard came up with a different ending for each them.
Choose Your Own Adventure books were born.
And it went on to become one of the bestselling children’s books during the 1980’s and ‘90’s, selling over 250 million copies. The magic of Choose Your Own Adventure is that the reader gets to become a participant in the story. Rather than just absorbing the information, one gets to have a say in what information is presented to them.
Having your students interact with your story, your lecture, is vital. Direct instruction does not mean that the teacher is the only one who gets to talk. Teachers have to create opportunities for students to join the story and determine how it gets told. There are a number of ways to create pauses in your speaking and allow students to interact. You, as a teacher, have to create space for students to join the learning in the classroom. Hour-long lectures are boring and ineffective, but a concise lecture with breaks that allow your students to join in an interact are not.