Monday, November 02, 2015

Teaching Tip #39

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #39

Another book that really impacted my teaching last year was Carmine Gallo’s Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the Worlds’ Top Minds.

Tip #5 - (this one is easy) deliver jaw dropping moments.

Sounds easy, right?

This is the hardest one by far (if you ask me).  

Here is an example for you - go watch Bill Gates’ TED Talk on malaria.  As he begins his talk, he produces a jar of mosquitoes.  Then he talks about how mosquitos spread malaria (notice his story telling skills).  He elaborates on how the countries ravaged by the disease could develop economies and produce goods that would improve their living conditions.  However, when millions die from malaria, it’s hard to develop any type of economy (notice his master within).

While he has you rivited by his story, he begins to take off the top of the jar and release the mosquitoes.

“Poor people shouldn’t have a monopoly on malaria,” he concludes to the shock of the audience.  “Those mosquitoes don’t carry malaria,” he adds to the relief of everyone there.

That is the power of a jaw dropping moment.

I’d love to hear about your jaw dropping moments that you use in class.

One that comes to mind was when I taught the story “The Masque of the Red Death.”

It involves the spread of the Black Plague.

I show my mastery by explaining the effects of the plague and how it was spread and how many tried (in vain) to escape it.

Then I craft a story calling on the students to imagine suffering through the plague, where one side effect is huge legions - full of blood and puss - that develop in the arm pits and the groin.

I hold up an apple from the lunch room and then read from an article on the plague how some legions were the size of apples.

“Imagine having a lump this size,” I say tossing it up and catching it, “in your groin or armpit that is full of puss and blood . . .”

Then I take a large bite out of the apple.

And the class erupts in revulsion.  

That’s my one jaw dropping moment I’m afraid.  But there is no denying its impact.

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