Seems like this is the perfect plan for student engagement. Short focused lecture, activity that is though provoking beyond the textbook regurgitation, then short focused lecture. Might take some practice but kids are used to bites of information not long boring lectures. Change is needed, give it a try let me know what you think.
Mini-lectures, interspersed with activities, discussions, and time for reflection, helped ensure students received the content and remained engaged.