The micro lesson

Matthew Evans

This article (http://www.theguardian.com/media/mind-your-language/2016/feb/19/how-to-write-the-shortest-joke-in-the-world?CMP=twt_a-media_b-gdnmedia) has got me thinking.

Jimmy Carr’s joke referenced in the article is about as succinct as a joke can get; “Vennison’s dear, isn’t it”.

It is a micro joke. It deliberately omits all the necessary information for the joke to make sense (the exformation). Our brains rapidly fill in the missing information. The joke forces our minds to work. This feels an effortless process which requires no conscious initiation. The formation of the words, how the information is presented to us, tells us little but creates a vacuum which our inquisitive brain seeks to fill.

How might we create such a vacuum in learning such that we communicate so little but draw the mind to attempt to fill the void?

When I observe lessons I often see teachers presenting vast amounts of information. If the teacher is skilled, they continually return to the key conceptual understanding they…

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