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Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience > First Day of Class > Engage with Content
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Engage with Content

Engaging your students with course content from the very first day of class accomplishes several goals. It lets your students know what the course will be about, draws them into the intellectual realm, reveals your passion for the subject, and challenges them to begin to think in ways that will be continued throughout the course. It also sends a clear message that no class time will be wasted.

One way to engage in course content on the first day is simply to jump into the first topic of the course. Another is to begin practicing skills you want your students to develop throughout the course. Consider what goals you have for students in the course - using observations to make interpretations, evaluating different hypotheses, solving quantitative problems " and consider what kind of activity you can design to involve students in practicing those skills with minimal prior knowledge.

Activities can engage students with course content by

Before-and-after photographs of destroyed houses in the barrier-island community of Orange Beach, AL. The houses were built on top of a dune that was severely eroded during Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Photo from the USGS; public domain.

Introducing the first topic of the course

Giving students the opportunity to practice geoscience skills

Migmatite boulder. Photo from Wikimedia Commons, distributed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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Search the collection of examples for first day of class activities that engage students with course content. You can narrow your search by course topic or level, as well.


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