It seems like this is the perfect plan for student engagement. Short focused lecture, an activity that is thought-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.