The method of Outrageous Teaching and lesson planning techniques are described in my new book above, Teaching Content Outrageously:  How to Captivate All Students and Accelerate Learning, Grades 4-12.

This book is available at a discount on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles' web sites.

How To Post Outrageous Lessons/Outrageous Class Management Suggest

You can either post your Outrageous lessons as a comment to the appropriate content area in the post below, or e mail it to me at:

You can also post your Outrageous classroom management suggestions by submitting a comment to the post on classroom management below, or e mailing it to me at:

All successful Outrageous lessons will be published along with additional suggestions

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Outrageous Classroom Management Techniques

While the emphasis of the book is on Outrageous lessons for the teaching of existing content objectives, there is a major section on classroom management.  This does not just refer to discipline, but also on how to get students engaged in behaviors critical to all learning, such as speaking up, taking notes, listening to other students' answers, etc.  Outrageous classroom management means getting students to engage in these behaviors without lecturing them on it, but by creating a scenario within which they naturally do so.  For example, you can get students to speak up by putting cotton in your ear and pretending to have an ear infection, and that you cannot hear them when they speak softly. 

There are many other such examples in the book, but I would be interested in hearing your effective Outrageous techniques.

Teaching Math Outrageously

Math is all too often taught as a cut and dried set of rules to be memorized and practice.  However, mathematics is really about creating and solving puzzles and discovering relationships. To mathematicians math is gamelike and fun, and those sense can be recreated for students via Outrageous lessons.  As a former math teacher, I received funding from the National Science Foundation to create a pre-Algebra curriculum based on fantasy.  There are a variety of techniques that can be used to get students involved in discovering math rules, including anthrophormizing concepts, motion games, etc.

There are several examples of Outrageous math lessons in the book, including using dancing to enable students to discover the rules for multiplying signed numbers.

Please submit your examples of successful math Outrageous lessons.    

Teaching English/Language Arts Outrageously

Language arts easily lends itself to Outrageous instruction, and there are lots of such examples in the book.  In addition to teaching literature, Outrageous teaching can also be used to make 'boring' grammar and writing content exciting to students.  It flexibility allows it to be widely applied to the most frustrating ideas to teach and learn. 

I am also proud that California English was the first discipline specific journal to publish an article about Outrageous teaching (Feb 09).

Teaching Foreign Language Outrageously

Foreign language teaching lends itself richly to Outrageous instruction.  It is quite easy to create imaginary scenarios and settings that get students to learn new language concepts and definitions by being immersed in the moment.  There are several examples in the book of students learning new definitions strictly by playing along with teacher role-play.

Please send your successful examples of successful foreign language Outrageous lessons.   

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Outrageous Lessons for Social Studies

Social Studies lends itself easily and widely to Outrageous instruction that will engage all students.  This content area contains many stories, events, and ambitions that lend themselves to Outrageous instruction.  The book, Teaching Content Outrageously, contains a sample lessons for teaching the start of the union movement that had students riveted, and a complete Outrageous unit on the start of World War II.

Please respond with your ideas for Outrageous Social Studies lessons.

Outrageous Lessons for Teaching Science

Science is all too often taught as a series of facts.  While the facts are important, science is also a process of dramatic stories about discoveries, a search for understanding, a triumph over problems. Brian Greene describes science as "the greatest of all adventure stories", and as a "language of hope and inspiration, providing discoveries that fire the imagination" All of which provides science teachers with opportunity to develop highly dramatic, Outrageous lessons to engage students and fire their imagination, while also incorporating key facts.

My book on Outrageous instruction has an example of a successful  Outrageous lesson teaching the origin of flight to highly unmotivated middle school students, with terrific results.

Most importantly, please submit your examples.  

Articles About Outrageous Teaching

A series of articles about engaging students by teaching content Outrageously have started to appear.

1.  Phi Delta Kappan, January 2009.  "Teaching Content Outrageously: Instruction in the Era of On-Demand Entertainment." 

The article can be purchased for $5 at: (Stan's self-serving suggestion-buy the book instead.)

2. Marshall Memo 269.  This contains a summary of the Phi Delta Kappan article above.  

The Marshall Memo summarizes key articles and research findings as a way to help busy school leaders stay on top of the latest ideas.  It is available to subscribers at:

Comments about the articles appreciated.