Increasing Participation While Lecturing in a History Class

Do you teach history, but need help with students participating in your lecture? Also, I’m sure you know that you should not lecture for more than 5 minutes without having a question students discuss. First, you have to make sure you are asking questions that help students make connections, focus on deep meaning, or are relevant and lead to a Big Picture Objective. Students will remember information if they all are provided the opportunity to talk about it to someone else. Most history classrooms may have higher order questions, however only selected students are called on that raise their hand. Have a class rule that no one raises their hand to answer a question (only if they wish to ask a question or make a comment). The goal is to have ALL students process and formulate an answer before sharing with the class.

My favorite way for students to answer prompts or questions is to use strategies that only take 1-10 minutes called turn-and talks or hold-ups. I also think adding movement is beneficial to students interacting with other students. There are also other ideas that I present in the following chart. *note: A Word Bank to guide discussion, or a list of definitions/ descriptions they will be talking about can be used to help students think (it’s hard to participate in higher order thinking if you have no clue…): Also, I pulled the strategies from a wonderful resource called “Total Participation Techniques” by P. & W. Himmele 2011. I did add my own thoughts as well.