Sunday, October 4, 2020

Gesticulation As A Strategy to Engage Learners

Whether a lesson is pre-recorded, live video, or face-to-face, one simple, research-based idea to engage learners is to use gesticulation. This means using gestures, especially dramatic ones, instead of speaking or to emphasize one's words. Here are some ways to do that.


Props are a great way to help with this. Big glasses, hats, wands, etc. You can hop on Amazon and search photobooth props and get lots of packages that don't break the bank. 


Pull out the old costumes or wait til they go on sale after Halloween and get some new ones. Gesticulating while wearing a costume provides a fun and easy way to engage students.


Create or load up some backgrounds related to what your teaching. Most video conferencing platforms have some built in and also allow you to customize. Of course, you can also create a physical background using items such as maps. Be ready to dramatically gesture to items on your background to help illustrate what you are teaching.

Fun with Filters

Get your filter game on and figure out which filters pair well with your lesson.  Below is a Tweet for inspiration. 

Gesticulation in Action

Hat tip to Cornelius Minor for sharing the importance of gesticulation in a recent share session where he also provided an example of an excellent teacher who incorporates this into her work. Click on the video to go to the Outschool website where you can see Teacher Saara, M.Ed in action.

Teacher on screen with props (glasses and nose)  and a virtual background (map)

Your Turn

Which of these ideas might you incorporate into your work. Are there ideas you've tried that aren't mentioned here? If so, please share.

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