Teaching Content Outrageously: How to Captivate All Students and Accelerate Learning, Grades 4-12 / Edition 1

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A powerful instructional method for "hooking" students on academic learning

Drawing from a teaching model designed to banish boredom and student apathy, this book explains how dramatic practices can serve as powerful tools for enlivening lessons and captivating students, even the most resistant learners. Filled with intriguing classroom examples, Pogrow shows how any teacher can make use of dramatic techniques, such as surprise, humor, fantasy, role plays, games, and simulations to create standards-based content lessons that are riveting, effective, and meaningful. The author explains how to design such lessons into any content area.

Stanley Pogrow (San Francisco, CA), a noted authority on teaching practices for disadvantaged students, is professor of educational leadership at San Francisco State University, where he coordinates the Educational Leadership for Equity Program.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470180266
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/10/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 696,850
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Stanley Pogrow, Ph.D., is professor of Educational Leadership at—San Francisco State University. He is best known for developing the HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) Program for accelerating the learning of underperforming Title I (economically disadvantaged) and special education students.

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Table of Contents

About This Book

About the Author



1. Why Teach Outrageously in All the Content Areas?

2. Perspectives on Dramatizing Content Instruction.

3. From Discipline to Outrageous Teaching: Classroom Use ofDramatic Techniques.

4. How to Design Outrageous Lessons: Essential Steps.

5. Outrageous Lessons: Examples from the Classroom.

6. Suspense and Surprise: Why Outrageous Lessons Work.

7. Getting Started.

8. So . . . Let’s Do It!

Appendix A: The Origins of Drama.

Appendix B: Games and Quizzes-Selected Resources.

Appendix C: Simulation Units-Selected Resources.

Appendix D: Lesson Plans for the Sample Lessons.

Appendix E: Teaching Outrageously in the Early Grades.


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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    Some interesting ideas, but not enough here for the price...

    For the limited number of ideas presented, this book was far too costly. The main idea can be gathered from the first chapter, which is basically to look or act outrageous as a segue into your lessons, and little else is added of value. Very little research was done and the resources are sparse. There is a link to a blog, but it does not appear to have been updated since 2009.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Again another bad purchase

    I have to stop buying these bad books . This book was sold on its promise to show creativity, yet the only examples that it showed was by using drama. Give me a break

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Book for Every Teacher and Teacher Educator!

    I train secondary school teachers and will make this book required reading next Fall. Most of my interns make it very clear that they need practical ideas that they can use to wake their students up and maintain there interest in the subject. I continually emphasize that motivation comes first and that most discipline problems emanate from dull teachers and unmotivated students. This has become even more important in an era when students have been conditioned by highly stimulating computer and television media and find the leap to the slowness of a traditional classroom difficult.

    This book nails all of this perfectly. Stanley Pogrow integrates good theory with creative classroom interventions that will create and maintain motivation. This is all presented through a non-academic writing style that will engage my interns fully. Importantly too, even though this is "out of the box" thinking and teaching, it is also solidly content focused in a way that will work perfectly with state standards and likely increase student test scores. Highly motivated students most frequently also score high on tests.

    This book is a combination of highly creative and intellectually sound pedagogy that should find its way into teacher training programs nationwide.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2009

    A Refreshing Addition to the Field

    It was a pleasure to read Stanley Pogrow's new book Teaching Content Outrageously. While so many teachers are asked to focus exclusively on meeting standards and assuring test score gains by drill and repetition, his approach to engaging students and making them think is a much needed addition to the field. His examples are vivid and his writing clear. I like this book for many reasons. One reason is that it works equally well for prospective teachers and experienced teachers. By using examples of "outrageous teaching" from student teachers, Pogrow removes the mystique that this kind of teaching only comes with experience. For this reason it will be a great tool in teacher preparation programs. A second reason is that he approaches the teaching and learning process from the perspective of students. Where adults find connections to careers and the future "relevant" and "authentic" Pogrow makes a very valid case that relevance and authenticity to children and adolescents has to rest in their current world, not in the future. A third reason is that he provides a resource for upper elementary teachers, a professional group that has been underserved (see my recent book The Upper Elementary Years: Ensuring Success in Grades 3-6). Pogrow and I share a commitment to retaining the excitement and enjoyment of learning that many students lose once they enter the upper elementary grades.

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  • Posted April 10, 2009

    Teaching Content Outrageously Gives Teachers Permission to Be Creative!

    In Teaching Content Outrageously, Stanley Pogrow describes a set of teaching strategies as "outrageous". I disagree! To me the strategies are consistent with teaching principles that have been shown to work with all learners. To me, the only thing "outrageous" here - is the fact that few teachers currently use strategies such as drama, costumes, and role-play in their daily lessons.

    Teachers today compete with many technological innovations that surround students. It is no wonder that our students are not much interested in our "run of the mill" lectures and work sheets. In my almost forty years of school experiences, I have found students - be they kindergarten or graduate level - to be interested in content that is presented in respectful, inquiring ways. In Teaching Content Outrageously, Pogrow gives teachers permission to capitalize on this idea and to be creative in designing and presenting lessons. He challenges us to be better than we usually are. He presents step-by-step guides to assist even novice teachers in design and use of creative ideas to develop their lessons. By describing lessons developed and used by real teachers, often ones with little or no experience, Pogrow stimulates the imagination of experienced teachers and, more importantly, of their students.

    In this book Pogrow has built on his experience and research with teaching for higher order thinking, and interpreted both into the design and development of strategies for real classrooms, in real schools. I highly recommend it for any teacher interested in creating a feeling of excitement for learning in the classroom. I am confident that teachers who use these strategies will be rewarded with students excited about learning whatever content they teach.

    Daisy Arredondo Rucinski, Ph.D.
    Professor of Education

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  • Posted January 15, 2009

    Ideas that will help every teacher to connect with their students

    I am writing this as the mother of a smart and highly creative student. I watched in dismay and frustration as she increasingly tuned out school as a high school student. She found that her artistic impulses were at total odds with how classes and school was conducted. She felt stifled, bored, and could not make a connection with how she was being taught and felt that her teachers made no effort to connect with her. Her friends, who were similarly talented, were equally alienated from school.<BR/><BR/>When I saw title of this book it spoke to my frustration with typical instruction and I knew I had to read it. At last! Someone who understood how my daughter, and countless others like her, need to be taught. I laughed and cried as I read the book. While as a non-educator I was less interested in some of the early background chapters on learning, except for its general message on the importance of imagination to learning, I found the chapters that described the method and the examples easy to understand, practical, and compelling. Why doesn¿t everyone teach this way? Why aren¿t teachers taught and even required to teach this way?<BR/><BR/>If my daughter was still in school I would give every one of her teachers a copy of this book. I am writing this review for the other mothers whose children are similarly alienated from learning and who are still in school, to recommend that you push your school to engage in Outrageous instruction.

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  • Posted December 29, 2008

    Outrageously Innovative, Insightful and Inspiring

    Dr. Stanley Pogrow has built his reputation as an educational innovator by doing two things exceptionally well: identifying how kids really learn and developing leading edge ways of teaching that are aligned with his discoveries. If that approach is considered outrageous, so be it.<BR/><BR/>Dr. Pogrow's latest book "Teaching Content Outrageously" focuses on the use of captivating dramatic techniques in the classroom -- role playing, story telling, scenarios -- to create irresistible momentum that accelerates how students learn virtually any subject. The volume is chock full of real world examples and practical suggestions that will fascinate students and, not incidentally, make teaching more effective, fulfilling and fun.<BR/><BR/>The ideas contained in "Teaching Content Outrageously" constitute an invaluable contribution to the field of education. This book would be a welcome addition to every teacher's professional collection.

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    Posted October 22, 2010

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    Posted April 28, 2009

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    Posted May 1, 2010

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    Posted April 20, 2010

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