Author Archives: Mr Gravell

Card Sort

This requires a bit of preparation, but after you’ve made it once it can be re-used. Make a load of cards and cut them up. In pairs, the kids have to sort them. There are lots of options here: Cards … Continue reading

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Similarities and Differences

Write down five similarities and five differences between X and Y. Give students a sheet of scrap paper to work on. First to get five correct similarities and differences gets a merit. Five seems like a good number that is … Continue reading

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Offline Wiki

I came up with this activity when there were no computers available, and having tested it a few times I really like it. The idea is to create a Wiki using paper, string and blu-tack, whilst retaining as much of … Continue reading

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Plenary Dice

Or, more accurately, Plenary Die (there’s only one). Write a list of six questions/tasks like: Say one thing you have learned today. What would you like to know more about in this topic? Ask a student a question about today’s … Continue reading

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Wiki

Wikis take a bit of getting used to – there’s a learning curve for both you and the kids at the start – but they’re actually very easy to use and are a brilliant educational tool. I use the wiki … Continue reading

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Debate

Debates always sound like a good idea but it’s a real challenge to run a debate successfully. I haven’t cracked it yet, so if anyone has any top tips for a debating framework or set of rules they use, add … Continue reading

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Charades

Another simple activity – prepare a list of cards with key words on. Students come up one at a time and try to act them out without talking. The first student to guess correctly comes up to do the next … Continue reading

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Pictionary

Very little explanation needed – just make a stack of cards with key words on, and get students to come up to the front and try to draw them on the board. The first student to guess correctly then comes … Continue reading

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Continuum

A nice way to end a lesson dealing with open/opinion based questions like “do aliens exist?” or “should 16-year-olds get the vote?” Write two opposite statements on pieces of paper – e.g. “aliens definitely exist” and “aliens definitely do not … Continue reading

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Quiz

Very simple way to start or end a lesson. Prepare five to ten quiz questions (or just make them up on the spot) and read them out for the students to answer, either on rough paper or in the backs … Continue reading

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True or False?

Nothing special here – just get a list of interesting statements or “facts” to show on the board at the start of the lesson, with the question “True or False?” You could then either get the class to vote on … Continue reading

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The Hotseat

A simple plenary with no preparation required. Give students a few minutes to think up questions based on what they have learned – they can write these down if they like (otherwise they’re liable to forget them). Then get one … Continue reading

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Taboo

This requires a bit of prep, but it shouldn’t take long. Taboo belongs in the family of games that includes Pictionary and Charades – where the class has to guess what a student is trying to get across. With Taboo … Continue reading

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Walk Around Bingo

This is similar to normal bingo but is a bit more active. Instead of students crossing off answers when they get them, they have to find other people in the class who know the answers. The aim is to fill … Continue reading

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Bingo!

With the classic version of bingo, students are given bingo cards with different key words on. You then read out questions, and if they have the answer on their card they cross it off. The first person to get a … Continue reading

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A to Z

This is great for an end of topic review and requires no preparation. Put students into groups of about 4 and give each group a blank sheet of paper. Get them to write the letters A to Z on the … Continue reading

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Model Making

If you buy into VAK Learning Styles (I don’t…) then this is one for your “Kinaesthetic” students. Get a load of materials (paper, cardboard, pipe cleaners, art straws, sellotape, etc), and get students to make a 3D model of whatever … Continue reading

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Concept Map

A concept map is a set of linked keywords, as shown in the example below (which is a concept map about concept maps), with the subject in the middle. I usually do concept maps in three stages. For the first … Continue reading

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What’s This Lesson About?

A simple starter to prepare – just search for an image (maybe topical) and display it on the board, with the question: “What’s this lesson about?” It’s up to you how obvious/cryptic you make the image, but whatever you do … Continue reading

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Odd One Out

A simple and self-explanatory activity – write some words on the board, give students some thinking time then ask them to pick the odd one out. You can make some obvious, with only one sensible answer, and others more open … Continue reading

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