Introducing a new curriculum to students is one of my favorite parts of teaching. It’s an opportunity to entertain, inspire, and connect with your students.
As an enrichment teacher, one of my goals is to expose my students to as many new things as possible, broadening their world for them such that they have real world experiences on which to base their academic learning later on (yeah, I’m a classic constructivist). I need to learn and get excited about what it is I’m teaching so that I can guide students in their quests for information on the topic. I need to be an expert on almost anything (preschool teachers are some of the only people that know the difference between an ape and a monkey AND can name more than ten dinosaurs), so introducing new material can be quite fun!
There is a performative aspect to introducing new material that can make it more fun. Of course, any lesson you teach should be developmentally appropriate for the children in your class, but certain things can really spice up a circle time!
The tone and the volume of your voice can help your students get excited. When you speak quietly, almost as if you’re telling a secret, it can build suspense, and likewise, speaking loudly in a high pitch can convey excitement. Games, too, can make an introduction super exciting – think, “guessing” games or dramatic, make-believe games.
Often, when I’m presenting new material it’s because I’ve noticed a child’s sparked interest in the topic. So when presenting new material, I try and make it personal to increase the level of connection between everyone in the classroom, sharing this experience together.
I might introduce a topic as being a particular student’s “area of expertise,” or I might talk about how an item I’m showing is used in my home. We might discuss the different ways in which a curriculum idea plays into each of our lives. While coming up with new curriculum seems like a never-ending, uphill battle, introducing the new curriculum to kids can be so fun.