We hear over and over again how important relevance is to student motivation and engagement. Erin Owens uses a popular television show to inspire her first graders:
My students share a great deal. I have found that a microphone has played a key role in motivating them to produce quality work. First of all, they love the microphone, at first they say it is like “being on American Idol.” You can hear them more clearly and their voice is obviously amplified. This gains the attention of the audience more so than traditional sharing. After the “glamour” wears off, they begin to realize that they are showcasing their work each time they “step up to the microphone.” I began to see a major change in their motivation to produce the best work they were capable of to impress and entertain their peers.
Notice she uses something students can relate to, not to deliver content, but to help them with one of the processes of learning, in this case, speaking. What a great idea!