Wow…lecturing and active learning are certainly two concepts that one would not expect to see in the same sentence. In fact, as a proponent of active learning activities, lecturing is not something I do very often. However, regardless of your teaching style, there are times that all teachers must directly teach, or lecture, to their students. Unfortunately, as we all know, students simply don’t have the attention span to keep up with a lecture that carries on for too long. That is why Guided Lectures work as great active learning activities.
A Guided Lecture is a teaching strategy that simply combines lecturing with student interaction and feedback. What’s great about using Guided Lectures as one of your active learning activities is that they require little or no preparation.
In a Guided Lecture the teacher will lecture for 5-10 minutes depending on the grade level and ability level of the students. During the lecture students are NOT to take any notes. After the 5-10 minutes of lecturing, the students create a list of everything they remember about the content of the lecture. After they create their lists, the students pair up with a partner to share their lists and add anything they missed. The teacher can then repeat the process with another 5-10 minutes of lecturing.
It is important that teachers always let the student know before hand how long the lecture will be and what they will have to do afterwards as students will be more likely to pay attention if they know that the lecture is going to be short and that they will be required to provide immediate feedback based on the content of the lecture.
Active learning activities are based on the fact that students who make frequent responses during a lesson will learn more than those that do not. Guided Lectures force students to make those frequent responses by listening, writing, and speaking, thereby turning the passive learning into an active learner.