ICT in Ed

10 Lesson Hook Ideas For OneNote On iPads

A lesson hook is an introduction or opening into a lesson that grabs the students attention. It is an opportunity to inject energy into a new learning journey and to create an eagerness to find out more. Lesson hooks can help to focus students on concept, give learning objectives context, and make connections between existing knowledge and future learning.

It isn’t necessary to use a hook for every lesson and they don’t have to take up a big chunk of your instructional time.

Here are 10 lesson hook ideas for OneNote on iPads:

  1. Students insert a PHOTO
    • Ask students to find or take a photo. It could be: objects they will be using in the lesson (Equipment set up in science or ingredients in cooking); Symbolic (find a photo that represents ???); Selfie (For a cover page, biography or group task); or creative (using ‘these’ 5 objects stage a photo that represents a simple concept).
  2. Students MARK UP a photo
    • Provide students with a photo that they can mark up / draw over. This could mean drawing objects, people symbols, shapes, lines, words etc. The mark up could involve: Labelling (Parts of a microscope); Brainstorming (What this image brings to mind); Finding (Real world right angles); Creating (A pet for this character, or house for this landscape); Speech bubbles (write what the person/animal is saying/thinking).
  3. Embed a VIDEO for students to watch
    • Embed a short video for students to watch (A movie trailer, a TV commercial, a grab from a movie, an athlete demonstrating a particular movement, a slideshow of photos/images etc).
      • Before watching the video, pose a focus question for students to keep in mind whilst watching. Then ask students to watch the video. Give students independent thinking time to consider their answer. Facilitate short class discussion to answer the question.
      • Embed a ‘trimmed’ video (ie. edit video so it ends before ‘key point’). Have students predict what happens next.
  4. Insert an AUDIO clip for students to listen to
    • Embed a short audio recording for students to listen to (A poem being read, a song being sung, a prayer being spoken, a radio advert, an audio grab from a movie, a short conversation in Italian etc). Before listening the audio, pose a focus question for students to keep in mind whilst listening. Then ask students to listen to the audio. Give students independent thinking time to consider their answer. Facilitate short class discussion to answer the question.
  5. Students create an AUDIO recording
    • Ask students to insert a short audio recording of themselves, and/or a partner (Defining a key term, explaining a maths equation, reading a prayer or poem, saying a tongue twister, interviewing a classmate, having a conversation in Indonesian etc)
  6. Students (and teacher) DRAW
    • Ask students to draw. It could be: Symbols (Create symbols for key terms or concepts you will be using today);  A Story Board (Ask students to create a story board of a process they used in a previous lesson); Layout (draw a netball court and highlight where the GK and WA are allowed); Creative (Draw a location in Italy you would like to visit. Create a scene that represents the lesson topic. Design a family crest for the main character of a book);
    • **NOTE: This is best facilitated with the TEACHER drawing along with students, and even projecting this onto the board. Can help take the focus off drawing, and place it back onto learning (ie. role model that its not about ‘perfection’, more about the process)**
  7. Students give FEEDBACK
    • Ask students to mark and give feedback on answered questions/equations/problems you have provided (ie.answer 3 maths equations and have students mark your responses. Provide a past exam question that has been answered and ask students to mark and correct it).
  8. Students insert evidence of QUIZ results
    • Use a 5-10 question Kahoots, Quizizzes or similar. Once students have completed ask them to take a screen shot their final mark and insert it into the associated OneNote page.
  9. Students reference a  WORDCLOUD to summarise knowledge
    • Instruct students to:  “Summarise what you know about ??? using this word cloud. See how many of the BIG words you can incorporate into your summary. You must use a minimum of 5 words in your explanation”. This will require you to provides students with a word cloud of key terms relating to the lesson topic (you can create your own, or source a pre-created one).
  10. Class creates a COLLABORATIVE Word Cloud
    • Set up a page in the OneNote collaboration space. Ask students to either brainstorm key terms or list associated words of a given topic. Set a time limit for students to input words (must be words, not phrases or sentences). Students cut and paste all the words listed in collaboration space into Word Clouds App. Students can create their own Word Cloud (save as photo then insert into their own OneNote portfolio), or Teacher can create a class Word Cloud


Four tips for choosing and delivering lesson starter activities:

  1. Simple, short, sweet…. and positive!.  The hook is not the focus of the lesson. If the tech you planned to use doesn’t work, do a quick debrief and move on.  If it works, congratulate great outcomes and commend good efforts. Keeping it positive means your students are probably more likely to want to do it again another time. And moving on in a positive light, despite any tech frustrations encountered, is a fantastic way role model to our students.
  2. Sell the purpose. Consider upcoming tasks and assessments. What tech are students required to use to complete these? Aim to integrate these into your lesson hooks. Include an explanation to help ‘sell’ the purpose of the activity (ie. “Today we’re going to start with a quick activity that involves you creating a short audio recording. Keeping in mind in week 8 your assignment requires you to create an audio recording”). 
  3. Consider how much structure is required. This can depend on how capable you, and your students are with the technology you’re about to use. For those less capable, more structure can be useful. More structure can mean setting strict timeframes, giving explicit instructions, allocating apps students are to use (ie. not giving them a choice) or working through the task all together step by step.  Less structure can mean giving more freedom with how students complete the task, and more opportunity for students to work at their own pace.
  4. Have the end in mind. Try not just do the activity and move on. Have 1-3 activity debrief questions or a connecting statement up your sleeve. So if you are using tech that students need in future tasks or assessments you could debrief the activity – “Whats one thing you found frustrating about capturing your short audio recording? Could this impact on your upcoming assignment and if so, how can you minimise this frustration?. Or, if you are doing an activity that leads into your lesson content, connect the two.


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