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The Jumpstart model is a structured approach to lesson/unit planning that integrates a reliable and valid theory of learning styles.  Its use ensures that your unit of study will include activities that appeal to a variety of learners, will make use of active learning approaches, and will present a coherent and well-organized experience for the students.  The use of the Jumpstart model is recommended by Durham College because it supports our philosophy of a commitment to student success, and our academic direction of developing excellence in teaching.

Blank Unit Template Downloadable Word Document — This template is a great way to plan both lessons and units. Click on the link above to download a blank copy of the jumpstart template.

The Jumpstart Model Video

The following video gives an overview of the Jumpstart Model and how it is applied to teaching. Click anywhere on the video to begin watching.

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Connection Activities 

Connection Activities capture students' attention and help connect the lesson to students' previous studies, their existing knowledge, and their overall program of study. Connection Activities should, ideally, lead the student to actively bring existing knowledge to consciousness, because we know that new knowledge is better understood, retained, and retrieved if associated with existing knowledge. Connection Activities can be brief (5-10 minutes) and should relate to the overall lesson outcome or topic. You should have ONE Connection Activity for the entire lesson. Connection Activities help to address the following questions:

  • Why should I learn this?
  • How will I use this in my life and work?
  • How does this relate to what I already know or have experienced?

Connection Activity Ideas

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Content Activities

Content Activities are used to deliver the course content and can take a variety of forms (i.e. lectures, readings, research, multimedia, student-generated content etc.). There is a Content Activity for each sub-topic, step or section within a lesson. Content Activities should be broken into manageable “chunks,” alternated with Practice Activities. It's important to only give students an amount of material that they can digest at once. You don't want to overwhelm them by delivering all the content at once. You want them to have digestible chunks of it, or subtopics. Content Activities help to address the following questions:

  • What do I need to know?
  • How do I do this?

Content Activities Ideas

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Practice Activities

Practice Activities provide hands-on application immediately follows exposure to content and provide students with the opportunity to apply, practice and review what they've just learned. They are essential for learning because they help students find out immediately whether they in fact understood and can apply and express the content that they just learned. Practice Activities provide feedback on achievement (self-marking, peer marking etc.) and allow students to check their understanding and mastery of the content throughout the lesson. Through the use of Practice Activities students become more aware of their own learning and more able to make study plans, or other action plans if they find that in fact, they can't apply or understand the material. Each sub-topic, section, step or ‘chunk’ of content within the lesson should have a Practice Activity. Practice Activities help to address the following questions:

  • How am I at this?
  • Am I getting this okay?

Practice Activities Ideas

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Summary Activities

Summary Activities provide an opportunity to consolidate the sub-topics, steps or sections of the lesson into one application. They provide formative feedback to the students on their mastery of the entire lesson. Summary Activities should be as similar to the eventual evaluation as possible so that students get a good idea of whether they are ready to be graded, and whether they have in fact mastered the content and skills of the lesson. You should have ONE Summary Activity for the entire lesson. Summary Activities help to address the following questions:

  • How does this all fit together?
  • Am I ready to be graded on this lesson material?

Summary Activities Ideas

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