Jan 18, 2023

8 Creative Ways to Implement an NGPF Lesson

Students learn best with variety! Avoid boredom by using these eight creative suggestions from expert NGPF teachers to maximize engagement and learning. 

As a national curriculum provider, NGPF supports teachers and students by creating a Lesson Guide (for you, the teacher) and a Student Activity Packet, or SAP (for the students) for each lesson. While NGPF SAPs are meant to provide structure and can be a starting point for the lessons, they are not intended to be used for each and every lesson. Read on for tips on how to mix it up.


1. Incorporate Student Choice

Empower students by providing them with options as they go through a lesson. 

  • Provide students with multiple resources in various formats on the same topic (e.g. a video, article, and a podcast all on compound interest). Students can choose which resource they want to learn through and answer an overarching question. 
  • Use choice boards when assigning activities and give students the option to pick from 2 or 3 different ones. 
  • Assigning your students a final project? Allow them to choose how they want to present their work - a poster, podcast, movie, brochure, essay, or more!  


2. Jigsaw resources so that students can divide and conquer

Many of NGPF’s lessons and activities lend themselves to the Jigsaw method, where groups of students become experts in particular topics and then share with the rest of the class. By the end, students will have done a certain portion of the work but will have learned the rest through their classmates!

  • Break long articles found in lessons into smaller chunks and assign each one to a group of students
  • Divide RESEARCH Activities into sections and assign each section to a group of students 
  • Have groups of students each explore a different Question of the Day on a similar topic and share with the rest of the class


3. Use the Flipped Classroom Model 

Assign videos or activities for homework the night before and review the content in class to reinforce the learning and facilitate discussion. Flipping your classroom is a great opportunity to spend the majority of your class time on addressing questions and misconceptions students may have. 


4. Get students up and moving through stations

Set up stations in your classroom, divide students into groups, and have groups go through a different lesson resource (video, article, infographic, etc.) at each station. Groups will rotate through the stations as they complete each resource and answer questions. Getting students moving throughout the classroom will not only get their blood flowing, but will also allow them to work with their peers!


5. Alternate between individual, group, and whole class work 

Sometimes, you might want to have students complete a lesson or resource independently. Other times, in groups or as a whole class. Switching it up will diversify students’ overall experience throughout the lesson and give them a chance to think on their own and discuss with others. 


6. Vary the ways students engage with content and express understanding 

You’ll find that NGPF’s lessons include a wide range of resource types - videos, articles, infographics, etc. - to keep students engaged and to incorporate different learning styles. In the same way, we recommend differentiating how students digest and record the material. Have students organize their notes or answers in KWL charts, concept maps, graphic organizers, drawings, Cornell notes, guided annotation, and more to encourage thinking about topics in multiple ways. 


7. Don’t hesitate to modify a lesson - remove or add resources as you see fit!

NGPF lessons are meant to be customized. Pick and choose what you think will resonate with your students from a lesson and take out the rest. Or, extend a lesson to dive deeper into specific topics that your students are interested in. The more you customize your lessons to your students’ interests, the higher the engagement! Read through our Trim Down or Build Up an NGPF Lesson Strategies guide to learn more. 


8. Use Nearpods for synchronous and asynchronous learning

Whether you’re teaching in person or are teaching in a hybrid or online classroom, using Nearpods can help you diversify your lesson implementation and reach all students. Nearpod features like polls, drawing, and more can help increase engagement while decreasing the need for paper. Plus, you can assign Nearpods to any students who were absent so that they can catch up!

Did you know NGPF has Nearpods for: 

We hope these suggestions help increase engagement and learning outcomes in your classroom! Read through all the expert NGPF teachers’ responses to get even more ideas!

About the Authors

Sonia Dalal

Sonia has always been passionate about instruction and improving students' learning experiences. She's come a long way since her days as a first grader, when she would "teach" music and read to her very attentive stuffed animals after school. Since then, she has taught students as a K-12 tutor, worked in several EdTech startups in the Bay Area, and completed her Ed.M in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is passionate about bringing the high quality personal finance content and instruction she wished she'd received in school to the next generation of students and educators. When she isn't crafting lesson guides or working with teachers, Sonia loves to spend her time singing, being outdoors, and adventuring with family and friends!

Kathryn Dawson

Kathryn (she/her) is excited to join the NGPF team after 9 years of experience in education as a mentor, tutor, and special education teacher. She is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in policy analysis and management and has a master's degree in education from Brooklyn College. Kathryn is looking forward to bringing her passion for accessibility and educational justice into curriculum design at NGPF. During her free time, Kathryn loves embarking on cooking projects, walking around her Seattle neighborhood with her partner and dog, or lounging in a hammock with a book.

Mail Icon

Subscribe to the blog

Join the more than 11,000 teachers who get the NGPF daily blog delivered to their inbox: