Ideas to inspire students. Less talk. More action.

Inspire action student 001

I need ideas. I am teaching two classes at the Stanford Splash! on Sunday, April 17th. I’m using Lance Armstrong and Muhammad Ali as my role models.

But I wonder if I can make the classes more interactive. More engaging. Instead of just me talking, I wonder if I can have the students do hands on activities to feel inspired.

I need ideas/thoughts. I would love if you could share your thoughts with me. If I use your idea, lunch is on me if you’re in the Bay area. For others, leave your address and I’ll send you an awesome book by post.

You can either share using in the comments or use Β this form to send me an email.

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12 Responses to “Ideas to inspire students. Less talk. More action.”

  1. Rakesh Misra April 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    (1) Pick out incidents from Armstrong/Ali’s life where he took decisions that require a lot of courage/confidence/self-belief/will power. Vividly narrate the circumstances surrounding the decision to the students (make them “feel” the circumstances themselves) and then ask what they would have done had they been in the same situation. Then tell them the decision that was actually taken by Armstrong/Ali, how that was different from what any common man with ordinary mental pluck would have taken (which is what most of the students would have answered) and how that helped him attain greater glories!

    (2) Related to the above. Do a “What would have happened if…” every time you narrate an extraordinary decision-making incident. Take them through a hypothetical life journey of Armstrong/Ali had he not taken that extraordinary decision and how he would have ended up as a common man/sportsman then.

    (3) Do a “What do you learn from him/his life?” at the end. Ask everyone/almost everyone to answer. Tell them if you have anything different to add. This would be the most important part for you as a teacher as this will tell you how successful you were in conveying the positive essence of these great men’s lives and how inspired your students were after listening to you.

    • admin April 14, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

      Thats quite a lot of ideas. I was thinking on similar lines and this reinforces my ideas and gives me a better perspective too.

      Appreciate it.
      Another person suggested getting the Livestrong bands so that they take something back from the class and it serves as a reminder.

      Wow. You guys are awesome.

      Boss, you forgot to give me your address πŸ™‚

      • Rakesh Misra April 15, 2011 at 12:15 am #

        My address would be some flat in Escondido Village; will let you know after May 21 once the results are out. πŸ˜‰

        Would love to have lunch with you sometime in the coming Autumn quarter. πŸ™‚

        • admin April 15, 2011 at 12:19 am #

          Sounds great. See you here in Fall..

  2. Mona April 15, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Back when I was doing an Art of Living course, one particular session I found useful was this – they divided us into pairs, then you talk about one experience (and be embarrassingly honest if required) that was so challenging to you and how you behaved at that time. your partner is then supposed to comment on what he/she would’ve done had he/she been in the same situation, and to draw this comment from what they have learnt about Ali or Lance from you.
    And vice versa.

    The kids would be surprised to discover how tough it is to reveal some personal experience to a complete stranger and get a fresh perspective.

    • admin April 15, 2011 at 10:13 am #

      Ah. Makes sense. And dividing the kids into pair would be a nice idea. Not everyone might be comfortable speaking directly in front of the class. And will save time as well.

      Awesome. Lunch on me when you’re here in a couple of months : )

  3. Mini April 15, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    Prepare a few sets of paper chits, say 25 chits per set.
    Each chit should have a alphabet on it and each set should form one meaningful word like perseverance, persistence, confidence,determination, competitive, passionate etc.

    So one set will have alphabets
    I A N U L L S D W P O Q X T B J E R K S C A G M, each on different chit.

    Split the children into groups of 3-5 and distribute one set per group. The children should form a meaningful word from the given alphabets and the word should be a quality of Lance/ Ali.

    Give some preparation time to the team and let one representative from each team come and share an incident with the audience, where they displayed the same quality and how it helped them.

    So like in above example, the children will form the word, PASSIONATE and will talk about it with an example from their life.

    • admin April 15, 2011 at 11:42 am #

      I like that. Its serves two purposes in one activity.
      Also, I think, with some of these activities, what I would do is instead of everyone introducing themselves right in the beginning,
      I’ll ask them to introduce themselves when they get a chance to speak while doing these activities.
      This will also ensure everyone gets a chance to speak at least once.

  4. Mini April 15, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    You can throw an open question to the crowd, “What do we learn from a bicycle?” Let the children explore/ exploit their creativity and imagination. The answers will come like “Keep moving”, “Low pressure can lead to accidents (be happy always)”, “the bike does not ask for fuel, all it asks for is a rider”, “its easier to move hand in hand (two wheels linked by a chain)”…..and things like that.

    You can link these observations with the life of Lance Armstrong and teach children very important lessons. You will get some very beautiful insights and you will learn a lot many things…trust me. πŸ™‚

    P.S.: Make use of white board n marker, if required.

    All the best.

    • admin April 15, 2011 at 11:55 am #

      I have your address πŸ™‚

      • Mini April 15, 2011 at 11:59 am #

        Don’t bother. I am happy to help. πŸ™‚
        I will think of few more and share asap.

        • admin April 15, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

          : )