27 Ways to Add Teachable Moments to Your Lessons

There are so many unexpected learning opportunities!

27 Ways to Add A Teachable Moment to Your Lessons

Finding real-world opportunities for extra learning, or a “teachable moment,” can really help lessons stick for students. Whether the lesson is about being a good person, understanding an important math concept, or focusing in on science, creating unique teaching moments for students will always help maximize your lesson. We looked for teachers on Instagram who were sharing their #TeachableMoments with others, and then gathered our favorites here. We hope they inspire you.

1. Add other languages to your school.

Adding numbers in several languages can help your students be more aware of the world outside of their everyday life and passively gain some linguistic proficiency.



2. Create a teachable moment from a fire drill.

When this teacher had to interrupt her day with a fire drill, she used the opportunity to teach about shadows!




3. Talk about what’s happening in the news.

They used the recent hurricanes as an opportunity to learn and present to their classmates.



4. Update your school signage.

Look at the signage at your school. Does it need to be updated? Changing simple messaging can really make a difference and a great teachable moment.



5. Break gender stereotypes.

Interrupting students when they reinforce gender stereotypes can impact them for a lifetime. Send a clear message that students are capable of doing anything that interests them, regardless of stereotypes.



6. Fill your classroom with diverse books.

Providing kids with a range of reading materials that broadens their world view can help them grow as people.



7. Explore with every day devices.

Microwaves are everywhere and an easy way to add a teaching moment. They can help students learn about time.



8. Learn from the pros.

Students need to see and learn how things work in the real world. If you can take a field trip, do it. If not, create a teachable moment and bring in an expert to talk to your class about what they do.



9. Talk about history.

You can use history and art to create memorable lessons with your students.



10. Have fun in science class.

These are water beads, and they’re so much fun to watch grow. They make a great STEM teaching lesson.



11. Add in some board games.

Sometimes a simple board game can make a perfect classroom lesson.



12. Learn outside.

If it’s a nice day, take in some sunshine and learn. Leaving the classroom presents many unique opportunities to add a teachable moment to your students’ day.



13. Use anchor charts to reinforce lessons.

If you’re teaching a concept like on owls, be sure to use multiple sources, and then get your students involved in key takeaways with an anchor chart.



14. Leave answers up for interpretation.

Some of the best lessons come when students think of the answers themselves. This speech-language pathologist has a great example of encouraging her students to be creative.



15. Turn measuring into a fun moving activity.

Take a lesson from this teacher and turn an ordinary lesson on measuring into a fun activity where students are moving around.



16. Use treats as teaching incentives.

Reserve this trick for really special occasions, but it’s a great way to reinforce concepts, especially for little minds.



17. Turn a negative into a positive.

It’s all about perspective, and we love what students created from this wall of graffiti. They learned art, and had a teaching moment about positivity.



18. Use the resources around you.

You can use something as simple as corn on the cob to teach a lesson, like these second grade students.




19. Your classroom floor can teach lessons.

Marking the floor around a door can make angles more relatable.



20. Solve problems together.

You can double the lesson students learn by having them do hands-on work together.



21. Develop multiple skills at the same time.

Passively teaching young students motor skills while learning to count is a great way to change things up, and it’s a great way to appeal to a wider range of learning styles.



22. Be open to changing plans (embrace the chaos).

Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but embracing the chaos (or the mushrooms, in this case) can be an opportunity for everyone to grow and explore a topic you hadn’t planned to teach.



23. Use interactive bulletin boards.

We know teachers offer a lot more than proficiency on tests. Borrow from your college dorm and create interactive bulletin boards that add teachable moments by helping students learn more about themselves.



24. Leverage failure into a lesson.

Sometimes students don’t successfully complete group projects – large or small. Offering them a chance to reflect can help your students build teamwork and problem-solving skills. It will be so helpful on the next project.



25. Use decorations to your advantage.

Supplementing your lesson plans with opportunities to interact with the material throughout the day can help students retain information.



26. Use pop culture in the classroom.

There’s no denying that most students are tapped into pop culture. Embrace pop culture in the classroom. It can help students relate to the material more easily.



27. Add labels to common objects.

Whether you’re teaching a foreign language or practicing vocabulary in your students’ primary language, seeing words paired with the objects they describe can make all the difference and turn a simple act into a teachable moment.