I love to start my classes with a hook or an opener. Attached are 6 openers that I use in class during various units. I have included a snippet about each opener below. None of them should take more than 10-12 minutes and it is a great way to begin class discussion.
Levels of Consciousness Unit- Why Philip Seymour Hoffman's death is so scary. This article looks at the scary realization of relapse. The author of the article shares his thoughts on PSH and his own fears. Students then share their thoughts/feelings on relapse.
Learning- Could Robin William's suicide be a result of learned helplessness? This story looks at how RW responded to his diagnosis and raises the questions on if learned helplessness could have played a role in his death. This opener contains 7 questions and I have provided an answer key for your convenience.
Learning- Students will watch the video to Johnny Cash's "Hurt" and then share their thoughts on painful incidents being good teachers. The lyrics are provided on the sheet for the students to use with their analysis.
Human Development- Students will watch the video to Glen Campbell's "I'm Not Going to Miss You" and then share their thoughts on what the meaning is behind the song and how his Alzheimer's impacts his family. I also share how this song, which is featured in his documentary, was nominated for an Oscar. However, Campbell's health has declined so much by the Oscar's that Tim McGraw performed the song for him. The lyrics are provided on the sheet for the students to use with their analysis.
Abnormal Psychology- Students will watch, discuss and analyze Green Day's song, Basket Case, after viewing the video. Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the song as a cathartic way to handle how he felt at the time. He had not been diagnosed with anxiety/panic disorder at the time and was not sure what was wrong with him. The lyrics are provided on the sheet for the students to use with their analysis.
Social Psychology- Amy Cuddy's CBS Good Morning interview, "Gaining Power by Striking a Pose" is a great opener to use when looking at how power poses can influence us. She has a wonderful TED Talk online but I have found that this works great as an opener since it is shorter. It is 8 minutes and 29 seconds in length.
There are not answer keys for the song analysis or the PSH assignment since the answers will all vary based on the student's thoughts/opinions. However, I have included one in the Robin Williams and Amy Cuddy opener since there are specific answers to the majority of the questions.
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