How To Promote Student Engagement

Incorporating the 5 E’s learning cycle in your classroom can be very beneficial for you as well as your students. The first E of this learning cycle is Engage. During this phase, you want to get your students excited about the material they are about to learn as well as promote curiosity. This is very important for all classrooms. However finding activities that will bring excitement and promote student engagement can be difficult, especially when resources are low and the budget is sparse. So to give you a head start on this I will be providing 5 low-cost resources that will bring excitement into your classroom and keep your students engaged.

Simple hands-on experiments

Experiments do not have to involve a bunch of expensive materials. Using simple everyday items that you can find around your classroom or that you can get from a dollar store to conduct experiments also works great. For example, using baking soda and vinegar to demonstrate chemical reactions.

Demonstration Videos

Free websites such as YouTube contain a wide variety of science demonstration videos for many different topics. Showing a demo video at the beginning of class can get students excited about the content.


Simulation websites that provide free interactive stem simulations allow students to play around and have fun with what they are learning which promotes student engagement and allows students to make real-world connections and example is PhET simulations.

Science Trivia

Starting a lesson with some science trivia is a great way to assess student’s prior knowledge and get them engaged. Use free websites such as Kahoot to create these quizzes.

Jokes and Riddles

Starting class with science riddles or jokes will get the gears turning for students. It will get them excited about the content as well as give them a chance to relate and have fun.

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  1. Hey Maya, wonderful post covering strategies that can be used to help engage students in the classroom! I agree with you that demonstration videos are a great way to gather student engagement before the lesson, especially if it would be costly to run the demonstration in class. I also remember using PheT simulations many times throughout my physics course. However, I do have one question about the simulations. How might you use the simulations to engage students in a way that they are introduced to the concept? Some of the simulators can be confusing to operate without any guided instruction.

    • Thank you! I used PhET simulations during field, I just made sure that there were detailed instructions on how to navigate through the simulation as well as walking around and answering any questions that students might have.

  2. Hi Maya! Great post!! I really liked how you said you need to get your students excited about the material. I think this is a great idea. I know I have always learned more when I was excited about the material. I also liked how you provided an example experiment as well as a video to go along with it. Do you know of any other experiments that you have not mentioned that you might use?

    • Thank you. Any experiment with everyday materials or easily accessible materials such as paper airplanes, gummy bear osmosis, volcano, and egg drop.

  3. Hi Maya this is a great post! Your activities are wonderful, and they are great ways of engaging students, I definitely remember being engaged by some of these activities when I was in high school. I like how you mentioned how they can used in a classroom to catch the attention of students, but my question for you is what resources out of these five do you see yourself using the most as a teacher? and how will you incorporate these?

    • Thank you! I think that I might use Phet simulations the most in my future classroom. I think it is very good tool for students and is very beneficial for students who may require longer time to work on labs because it allows for students to move at their own pace and preform the activities over and over.

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