REVIEW: Hooking students into learning … in all curriculum areas

REVIEW: Hooking students into learning … in all curriculum areas

By Val Klenowski, Adjunct Professor Queensland University of Technology

How to ‘hook’ students into learning is a key question every teacher asks when planning lessons.  Patricia Hipwell’s new book, Hooking students into learning … in all curriculum areas,provides a valuable, comprehensive set of resources for teachers of all curriculum areas from Primary Year 4 through to secondary education.  The activities address topics such as: reading skills (before, during and after), vocabulary expansion, writing incorporating activities related to paragraphs, sentences, grammar and punctuation.  Also included are activities to develop skills in listening, researching, editing, proof reading and assessment. This is an indispensable teaching resource that will provide significant means by which teachers can enhance their teaching, and the learning opportunities for all of their students.

Key learning principles underpin the design and structure of the book.  To illustrate, the learning and teaching activities, which are skills-oriented, are designed to not only ‘hook’ or engage students from the outset of the lesson but can also be used to conclude a lesson. It is recommended that teachers develop the learning skills in the context of their use.  In this way teachers will have the flexibility to align their teaching so that learning is relevant, consistent with the curriculum area, and skill development and use, are enriched.

The activities fulfill a range of purposes from establishing and developing learning strategies for continual use, building on prior knowledge, motivating student interest, checking for student understanding, improving skill acquisition, vocabulary and learning strategies, and developing collaboration.  The activities are designed for pair or group work for a period of five to ten minutes with the intention to increase the amount of reading and writing that students complete in any one lesson.

From the outset, Patricia has thoughtfully considered how teachers might use this set of resources, by compiling them into a ring-bound folder allowing easy access for practical every day use and photocopying, sections are colour-coded with many illustrative examples. Additionally, there is a helpful glossary and resources section to conclude the book. 

I recommend this book to all teachers inclusive of those who are just starting their teaching career to those who are more experienced. These resources will provide all teachers with increased pedagogic knowledge of how to engage and sustain student interest in learning, and increase students’ skill development for continued learning beyond schooling.  These skills are becoming increasingly important for students, as they are vital for achieving success in this complex and ever-changing world requiring proficiencies of agility, resilience and discernment.

Val Klenowski
Adjunct Professor Queensland University of Technology
17 October, 2018