Strategies for Engagement #1

...to focus on key ideas and issues

Learners can be encouraged to engage in activities that require focused attention in order to raise their awareness of what is important. It might involve a series of questions in science that directs students’ attention to coherence or design in nature. It could be the use of slow and attentive listening and reading activities to encourage students to focus on a text and develop humility before it. For example, we can learn to love a text in English/literacy by reading it more than once and reading it slowly or in different voices.

  • Learners can listen to each other’s compositions in music to see how music can interpret images.
  • Learners can engage in focusing activities in art such as using a series of questions, or using a viewfinder to focus attention on what is important. This detailed attention is a way of paying respect to the creator of the artwork.
  • Learners can use identifying and highlighting activities to raise awareness of important issues. They could trace a character’s behaviour in a text in English/literacy to reveal their character and values. They could use patterning activities that foreground the order and pattern in music and our ability to create it.
Examples such as these direct student attention and encourage focused attention rather than casual glancing or listening. These activities help learners to see what is important and give them time to consider it.