Associative listening is a great exercise for children to form associations between vital sets of information that are being presented. It works well as an introduction of a new topic or as the follow up to the introduction to a new topic (tying in the previous topic and it’s value to the new one). For example, “what did we learn about writing yesterday?” and follow it up with “how do you think those principles apply to what we learned/are about to learn today?”. This allows students the opportunity to consider how their lessons tie together and are working towards a larger goal. This can be done as a written assignment, a verbal sharing exercise or a bullet point list. The goal is to encourage children to brainstorm, gauge relevance of information, and form associations in order to build a base that allows for building on existing concepts.
Opposing Options Method
This can be a fantastic option for allowing children to consider a question, issue, or concept more deeply by looking at it from more than one perspective. It is essentially a pros and cons list geared towards learning and it works like a charm! Asking children to contemplate both sides of an equation before coming to a conclusion allows for greater engagement, understanding and absorption of the information. For example:
Column A: “Examples of correct grammar include ______”
Column B: “Examples of incorrect grammar include ______”
The student must recall information from previous lessons to provide examples of each. You can also add a third option or C Column surrounding the application of these concepts.
Make It Applicable
Utilize case studies to make educational content more applicable and meaningful for students. Draw examples from local sources that they may be familiar with and allow them to make connections between the material they’re learning and other situations outside of the lesson. This allows them to understand the purpose of the lesson and its relevance in everyday life. Have them reflect on this and share their connections back.
Open Ended Question Strings
Use open ended question strings to entice the student to ponder the subject and contemplate what it means to them or what they understand it to mean.
Questions such as
“Describe XYZ in your own words”
“Why is XYZ important?”
“What does XYZ mean”
“How could XYZ be uses to …?”
Build Upon Concepts:
Build upon these question strings with more in-depth open-ended association building questions or statements.
“Explain how ___ and ___ are similar”
“Explain how ___ and ___ are different”
“Explain why___ and how ___”
“How does ___ tie in with ___ that we learned previously”
This exercise again encourages association forming, provides a basis for comprehending the relevance of a subject/subjects and boosts engagement and learning.