Hook ‘em – Using Visuals and Multimedia to Engage Students

A hook or activating strategy is intended to engage students and help them access and apply prior knowledge to the current concept, lesson or unit of study. Auseubel (1978), recognizes that the activation of prior knowledge helps to deepen learning by bridging between what was known and new material.

Creating just the right motivator or anticipatory set for your classroom is essential to engaging your particular audience. While the content of this section of your ‘lesson plan’ or sequence will vary, there are a number of strategies that work for a variety of audiences!

In particular, to grab learners in the digital age, a TEASe is an excellent option. Combining high interest visuals with sound and even text in a short video or presentation can activate prior knowledge and engender excitement in the audience.

Examples of ‘TEASes’ (Technology Enhanced Anticipatory Sets)

To learn more about TEASes and to find access to images to create your own Hooks, download the handout and/or visit Scarfe 155 this week or anytime (Wednesdays and Fridays this Fall)!


Good Hooks should capture student interest; connect to prior knowledge or experience; explain what is to be learned and how it will be learned. There are so many different strategies for hooks and each individual teacher has his/her own favourites including:

    To view simulations (a map that morphs from geographic to ‘thematic’ and shows population and relative size…)
  • Guided Visualization: Have a high quality image or video displayed and engage your students in a guided visualization exercise – Alice stepping through the looking glass… a tornado for that extreme weather unit and you are Dorothy…
  • Twelve non-techie hook ideas to try http://bit.ly/1g1TAsj
  • Hook Stations are an active and hands-on form of engagement, can you think of a tech integration opportunity for one station?
  • Create cognitive discord with your own mashup or present discrepant events (a demonstration that taps into common misconceptions)

Display an image and engage your students in a guided visualization or discussion. Searching for images:

About Yvonne Dawydiak

@yvonnedtechtalk UBC Teacher Education Technology Integration Mentor | MET Manager MET Graduate Enviro-interested non-profit director - birdsonthebay.ca
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