Littleover Community School
Classroom ideas / activities
gifted and talented pupils
1. Challenge Wall 35. Question generator
2. Video Clips 36. Six degrees of separation
3. True or False? 37. Where would we be without…?
4. Big Question 38. Mnemonics
5. Last Man Standing 39. Quiz, quiz, trade
6. Fantastic Nine 40. Take a letter
7. Verbal Football 41. Memory board
8. Verbal Boxing 42. Hide and seek
9. Differentiation 43. Discussion circle
10. You Say We Pay 44. Wheel of knowledge
11. TV Screens 45. Thinking graphs
12. Give Us A Clue 46. Fortune lines
16. Weakest Link
17. Revision Cards
18. Speed Dating
19. Alternative activities to copying from text
20. Rolling Shows
23. Yes / No game
24. Top 10 lists
25. Greatest Hits (related to Idea 24)
27. Key Word Bingo
29. Roll up, roll up!
30. Just a minute!
31. Venn Diagrams
32. Room 101
33. Democratic dots!
34. Verbal tennis
Although all of the above activities are specifically aimed at the gifted and talented, they
can still be used very effectively when working with pupils of lower ability, either in their
existing form or with slight variations. Dave B (Jan 2010)
1. Challenge Wall
Assign an area of your classroom called ‘Challenge Wall’ or ‘Challenge Corner’. In that
area, put up laminated puzzles / activities that relate to your topic and the Year group.
When a student finishes the set task ahead of the rest of the class, they can go to the
corner and select one of the activities. If the puzzles are laminated, the students can
attempt them with a felt marker. When completed, the teacher simply wipes the sheet
clean with a cloth and returns it to the wall.
The puzzles / activities can be changed every term or half-term.
2. Video clips
If you are due to show a short video clip to your class, why not show it twice: once with
the commentary / sound, then again with the sound off but with commentary from a more
able student (warn them first!!)
3. True or false?
One student reads out a passage, which contains truths and errors. Listeners say ‘true’ or
‘false’ after each sentence. Award points to the listeners if they guess correctly or to the
reader they are wrong. The less able students tend to spot the lies, the more able tend to
spot the truths. You could arrange your class into teams with different passages to be read
out, making it more competitive.
4. Big Question
For questions that require long and detailed answers, or a number of shorter separate
ones, write them down on sheets of sugar paper (one question per sheet). Each pair, or
individual has a limited amount of time to answer the question before they pass that sheet
to the person or pair in front (or behind) them. The next person or pair has, again, a
limited amount of time to continue to answer that question. They should be encouraged to
read through the answer already given and cross out anything they feel is incorrect. This
process is continued until you think they have had enough time.
Blu tack the sheets on the wall at the front of the room and go through the answers. The
sheets can then be passed back to the students who take them away to ‘polish up’ for
homework by word processing and producing enough ‘model answers’ for the rest of the
5. Last Man Standing
A more able student stands at the front of the class. Everyone else stands and is asked to
think of a word or phrase associated with a particular topic. The more able student then
proceeds to name as many of those as possible. The class members sit down when their
word or phrase is mentioned. If you have a number of more able students in your group,
make it competitive by timing each of them to see how long it takes to get the class to sit
6. Fantastic Nine!!
Similar to ‘Last Man Standing’ but – give your more able student a clipboard* with a
piece of paper to draw a simple 3 x 3 grid. In each box, they write down a different word
or phrase that is associated with a given topic (they should try to think of things the class
would find difficult). The rest of the class then have to eliminate those words/phrases by
shouting them out. Again, this can be made competitive by timing the activity and
comparing against another more able student.
*if you had a flip-chart this would work well.
7. Verbal Football
Divide the class into two teams. Appoint team captains (more able student). Ask a
question. The first team to answer correctly gains possession. Their team receives another
question, which they* must answer correctly within 5 seconds. If they do, they receive
another question. Three questions correct = three consecutive ‘passes’ and therefore a
goal! If a question is incorrectly answered, or not answered within the allocated time,
possession goes to the other team. Yellow and red cards can be shown for flouting the
*the students should answer in order of seating (ie no random shouting out). If he / she
does not know the answer, they can nominate the team captain to answer on their behalf
by shouting ‘nominate’. However, only allow one nomination per possession.
8. Verbal boxing
Divide your class into teams of 3 to 6 pupils. Set up home and away matches and give
each home team a motion to ‘propose’. Away teams oppose the motion. Give pupils time
to prepare their arguments for both the home and away match.
Each match begins with two teams sending one of their members into the ‘ring’ (a space
created in the classroom) for the first round.
After two minutes of robust debate in which each ‘boxer’ tries to out argue their
opponent, the round ends and the ‘boxers’ return to their respective corners for one
minute: either to tag a fellow team member into the ring or to collect new ideas to use in
the next round. The best argument over three rounds decides the winning team.
Your more able pupils could take a lead role by speaking first, entering several
rounds or acting as coach in the corner between rounds
Use an able pupil to quickly recap on the previous lesson’s learning for the other pupils.
If you are taking feedback during the lesson, enlist an able pupil to record ideas on the
board while you lead the discussion.
Use more able pupils to provide the plenary. Alert them at the start of the lesson to be
ready to present their findings.
Try to use the ‘must do’, ‘should do’ and ‘could do’ tasks for classwork or homework. If
you have not seen an example of this type of work, let me know.
Whilst other pupils may be working on a simple starter, use this time to explain to your
more able pupil(s) which lower-level tasks they can by-pass and which tasks they should
tackle to stretch themselves.
10. You Say, We Pay!!
i) Normal game: select a student to sit at the front of the class. Behind them,
you show an image or a word / phrase that is relevant to your subject*. The
class (I suggest you do it table by table to avoid unnecessary calling out) then
give clues to its identity. Repeat this process as appropriate. To prevent
anyone ‘mouthing’ the word to the participant, you could blindfold the
ii) G and T version: split the class into teams making sure that you have more
able students in each team. The more able student comes to the front and
looks at a series of images / words / phrases that the rest of the class cannot
see. These could be on the staff computer or a sheet of paper or on a series of
flashcards. The student then has to give clues to his team in order to identify
them. Give each team an appropriate amount of time.
*You could use an interactive whiteboard by entering images / words /
phrases into a template from www.ClassTools.net
11. TV Screens
Divide your class up into groups of approx. 6. Five of the six should have ‘show me’ /
‘wipe boards’. The other student has a pen and a wipe. The groups should stand in a line
with their backs to the other groups. For example, one facing the back wall, one facing
the front wall, one group faces a side wall and so on.
Having prepared a series of questions related to the relevant topic, you now ask the
groups to answer them in the following way:
The student with the pen in each group writes the answer to the first question on the first
board in line. This student then moves down the line to the next board to write the answer
to the second question. This process is then repeated until all questions have been
answered. Anyone in the group can assist with the answers, taking care not to be heard by
other teams. The number of questions should match the number of boards in each team. If
there are fewer students in a particular team, one student could hold an extra board.
Once all the questions have been answered, the teams turn around to face each other, thus
revealing their answers. You go through the answers with them and announce the
winners. The above process is repeated according to however many questions you have.
The teams may swap the ‘writer’ if they wish after each round of questions.
This activity can be made more challenging by insisting that only the person holding the
board can assist the ‘writer’ in answering that specific question.
12. Give us a clue!!
Divide the class up into an appropriate number of teams. One person from each team
takes turns to come to the front to ‘act’ out a key word or phrase from the topic you are
studying (you show them the word/phrase from prepared cards or a list). Give them a set
time to ‘demonstrate’ their word/phrase. If their team cannot guess correctly, points can
be awarded to the opposition.
Prepare a set of ‘post-it’ size cards*. At the top of each card should be a key word or
short phrase from the topic(s) you are studying. Below, there should be two or three
words associated with the top word/phrase.
The game: students sit in pairs. One student from each pair has a set of cards. On the
word ‘go,’ that student has to describe the word/phrase at the top of the first card without
using any of the words/phrases on that card, ie the key word at the top and any words
below. If the other student guesses correctly, move on to the next card and so on. The
guessing student can ‘pass’ at any time. At the end of a specified time, (I suggest two
minutes) the students swap roles and repeat the process. At the end of the game, the
students compare how many cards they have each – the winner is the one with the most
cards. You can set up a system of promotion and relegation within your class – winner
moves up one table, loser moves down. The new pairings then play another game.
*photocopy, laminate and cut out enough sets for one between two in your class. I
suggest approx. 20 cards per set. You can produce sets of cards which cover the same
topic or several topics. Make sure you either colour code the cards if you are covering
several topics or number the backs of each set – some of these cards can end up on the
Use the sets of taboo cards from ‘Idea 13’. Students sit in pairs and place the cards face
down on the desk in a grid. (if there are 20 cards, place in a 5 by 4 grid). The first student
picks any three* cards and attempts to provide a ‘connection’ between them. The
connection must be a valid one! If correct, the student keeps the cards. If incorrect, the
student places them back in the grid. The next student takes their turn and so on. After a
specified time (I would suggest 2 - 3 minutes), stop the game. The winner will be the
student with the most cards. As with ‘Taboo’, you can set up a promotion and relegation
system in your room.
*more able students should be able to cope with three cards, less able students pick two.
Use the same cards as Ideas 13 and 14. Students sit in pairs. The cards are in a pile, face
down on the desk. One student lifts a card and, without looking at it, places it on their
forehead. They should keep it there with a finger. The word/phrase should be showing.
They must then ask their partner as many questions as possible to identify the
word/phrase. If successful, they take the next card from the pile. They can pass on any
card if it is taking too long to guess correctly.
i) The questions must only elicit a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response
ii) They cannot simply ask ‘What is it?’
After a designated time, the students swap roles. As with Ideas 13 and 14, you can play a
promotion and relegation system.
16. The Weakest Link!
Divide your class up into two teams A and B (or name them). Give both teams sufficient
bits of paper (I suggest quarter A4 size) to write down questions and answers to a
particular topic. Each team should be given a different topic from which to generate
questions. Give the students 15 minutes (or longer) to provide questions and answers on
the bits of paper – one question and answer per piece of paper.
Collect the questions in, making sure you keep them in two separate groups. Team A will
now face the questions that were compiled by team B. Give a time limit for team A to
amass as many points as possible (the powerpoint has ‘smarties’ but you can change it).
They* can bank at any time but obviously lose any current points if a question is
This process is then repeated for team B who will answer questions compiled by team A.
I suggest having an order in which the team answers questions e.g. table by table, to
avoid unnecessary calling out.
17. Revision cards
Give each of your students some index cards (alternatively, they could make their own).
The number of cards given should match the number of topics within your module /
syllabus. On one side of each card the students should write the title of one of the topics.
When all cards have been titled, the students can then begin to complete the other sides.
They should write down, in note* form the relevant / important points from that
When all cards have been completed, students can then carry out the following task.
Place all the cards on the desk in front of them with the topic title facing up. Then try to
visualize what is written on the first card. Turn the card over to check that what they
thought was on the card was actually on the card. If yes, leave the card turned over and
repeat process with the next card. If not, turn card over again and try again. This process
is repeated until all cards are turned over.
This activity could take place over a series of lessons (with homework to complete the
cards). Obviously, less able students are likely to cope better with less information on
*could be a mini mind map
18. Speed dating
The basic idea is that pupils will move around the room from table to table, swapping
information about the topic they have prepared.
Materials needed: revision cards (you could use the revision cards from the previous
activity or pre-made ones like the topic cue cards from Philip Allan Updates which cover
a variety of subjects). Each pupil also needs a pen and a sheet of A4 lined paper.
Students sit in pairs. The first pupil is given one minute to speak* about a particular topic
whilst the other listens. The listening pupil then has one minute to write as much as
he/she has remembered. (a bit of prompting can be allowed from the other pupil). After
one minute, the roles are reversed. One pupil in each pair then moves around the
classroom in a direction of your choice. This process is repeated.
*homework in preparation for this lesson could be to produce a short speech about a
particular topic which lasts approx one minute. Or, the speech could be prepared at the
start of the lesson.
19. Alternative activities to copying from text
1. A simple ‘conversion’ exercise
Ask the students to take material that is presented in one format and convert it into a
different format. Eg
• A mind map
• A flow diagram
• A storyboard
• A chart
• A key word plan
• Ranked bullet points
Give students a choice of formats. Over time, the students can practice them all. They can
then choose the ones that suit their learning style independently.
2. A ‘hierarchies’ exercise
Each student draws a page-sized pyramid. In pairs, or individually, the students should
find the ‘big idea’ in the text and write this in the apex of the pyramid.
Students then work out the next level of information – the main points – and note them
down in the next ‘layer’ down.
This process continues until the details are written within the base of the pyramid.
The students could be asked to memorise the material by covering up different layers,
attempting to recall what they contain, then looking to check. In time, they should be able
to work from just the higher layers, which prompt the recall of detail.
3. A ‘filtration’ exercise.
Draw a large filter funnel and beaker on the board. Students work on the given text in
pairs. You challenge them to find the five (or ten, or appropriate number) most important
As soon as a pair is ready, one of them comes to the board and writes their proposed five
words in the filter funnel. Other pairs follow and from their selection can only add words
that are not already in the funnel.
As soon as every pair has contributed, lead a debate with the class about which five (or
ten, or….) words to let through into the beaker.
The agreed filtered words then become the basis for notes, which everyone can make
4. ‘Market Place’ activity.
1. This exercise is conducted through a series of strictly timed stages. The number of
stages and timing of each stage will vary according to the topic. Here is a typical
2. Students work in groups of 3. Each group is allocated a sub-division of a topic
and given resource material on their sub-division. Each group also has a large
piece of sugar paper and 3 / 4 differently coloured thick felt pens. In a regular
class there might be 8 or more groups, so each sub-division is given out twice, to
different groups in different parts of the room.
3. Write up the sequence and timing of the stages on the board so that students can
follow the exercise easily.
4. Have a gong, bell or buzzer to signal the start and end of each stage.
Stage 1 (1 minute) Show the students the learning objectives and the test that they will
take later (on interactive whiteboard if poss). Give them one minute to read through the
test, then switch it off. Make sure that they understand that they will sit the test under
exam conditions without reference to any materials.
Stage 2 (15 minutes) Each group converts the resource material for their sub-division
into a visual display (a poster) using the large paper and pens. The poster must be
designed for visitors to view and understand (at stage 3). The poster can have up to 10
words and no more – abbreviations count as whole words. Numbers, diagrams, symbols
and pictures can all be used. Remind the group at this stage that, as a minimum, they
must include material that can be used to answer the test questions.
Stage 3 (10 minutes) By now each group will only have a fraction of the info. needed for
success in the test. Therefore, groups will need to learn from each other at this stage. One
member of the group will ‘stay home’ and be the stall holder, the other two members will
go out into the Market place to gather information. The stall holder explains the group’s
poster to visitors and is allowed to answer questions asked by visitors. The researchers
who go out into the Market place will need to visit all the other sub-divisions of the
topic. They can divide the labour up and work separately. If they have enough time, they
should go to other versions of the same sub-division to cross-check information.
Stage 4 (10 minutes) Everyone returns to their home base. Those who went into the
Market place to research info. now take turns to teach what they have found out. It is an
opportunity to clarify understanding. Students can run back to look at posters again or to
ask questions in order to check details. The aim is for everyone by the end of this stage to
be ready for the test. Even though they will not be able to use them during the test,
encourage students to take notes – seeing and doing, as well as hearing, helps information
to stick. During this stage, distribute test papers, face down to each group.
Stage 5 (10 minutes) All resource material is put out of sight. The test is conducted under
Stage 6 (5 minutes) – optional. In each group, students now put their heads together to
see if they can come up with a complete and accurate set of answers between them. It is
important that, if you use this stage, they did not know about it at the beginning.
Use for revision rather than to learn new material.
Instead of a test at the end, there might be a task e.g. writing a report.
Sustain the activity over a series of lessons. Groups might take one lesson to research
their material from a range of resources, then half the following lesson to prepare their
20. Rolling Shows
Create a selection of images or video clips which are displayed via a powerpoint rolling
presentation on the whiteboard as students enter the class. The images/videos should be
relevant to the lesson topic. The slide transition could be set to ‘’automatically after’’ 5
seconds. For maximum effect, the show could be accompanied by an appropriate backing
track. You could give students a task to do during this rolling show or just leave it
running in order to get them thinking about the topic.
As a slightly different start to your lesson you might ‘’dash’’ the objectives out on the
whiteboard and then ask students to identify the letter words and sentences that make up
those objectives. In some ways this will test their knowledge of previously met key
words, how to spell them and become familiar with assessment expectations such as
‘evaluate’, ‘identify’ and ‘explain’.
Display a collection of images on an interactive whiteboard (if you have one) from which
students have to guess the key word or phrase. Clearly, with more able students, you can
make the images quite difficult. Or how about getting your more able students to create
the images themselves as a test for the others? ‘’Just say what you see!’’
23. Yes / No game
Tape a key word / phrase / theory etc…. on the back of some students as they come into
class or at the end or the lesson (or use post-it notes on their foreheads). Either with the
entire class or in a small group, have the students one at a time ask questions with ‘’yes’’
or ‘’no’’ as the answer in an attempt to figure out what is written on their back / forehead.
The number of questions could be limited. Another variation could be to count the
questions asked and construct a leader board.
24. Top 10 lists
Throughout the year, it is likely that many theories, concepts, scientists, writers etc…. are
presented. A good way to review these is to have students make Top 10 lists in small
groups to decide which are the most useful / significant. Allow students to share their lists
and discuss with other groups about the rankings.
25. Greatest Hits (related to Idea 24)
Having decided on the Top 10 list, students have to think of a well-known song that
could represent each list item as a theme tune - ie based on the topic area the students
E.g. In psychology, Freud – ‘Lets talk about sex!’
Prepare a set(s) of domino cards, each divided in half by a line. On one half of the card
there is a question and the other half there is an answer. Give each member of the class a
domino. One student begins by asking their question. Students must indicate if they think
they have the right answer. The other class members must indicate they agree or disagree
with that student (perhaps using thumb meter?). Whoever had the right answer then asks
their question and so on.
27. Key Word Bingo
Ask the class to draw a blank nine-square ‘bingo’ grid. Then, on the whiteboard, write 12
key words or terms from the current topic. Ask everyone to fill in their nine squares with
a term from the board. Call ‘eyes down’. Read off the definitions of the terms one at a
time in random order. Students cross off their terms when they match their definitions.
When someone calls a line (either horizontal, vertical or diagonal), they read back the
terms and their meanings. Then proceed to full house and repeat the process.
Preparation - Type out a passage of work relevant to the lesson topic. Better still,
construct a passage that covers a module of work. However, instead of putting in the key
terms, type in the definitions of the key terms.
Students must then replace the definitions with appropriate key terms.
29. Roll up, roll up!
Draw a table on your whiteboard with two column headings: dice number, and key term /
theory / concept etc… Ask students to roll the dice and then explain the equivalent term /
theory / concept etc…
Depending on the lesson and the learning content you wish to check, you could use one
or two dice i.e. have 6 terms or 12.
30. Just a minute!
Give students a small period of time to go over their notes in preparation for talking about
a topic for one minute. Pick a name out of a hat and sit them at the front of the class. If
possible, display a countdown timer on an interactive whiteboard behind them so others
can see their progress. Encourage them to use key words, names, theories etc..
This activity could be done individually or as pairs.
31. Venn Diagrams*
This activity involves pairs of students sorting key terms (or whatever is appropriate for
your subject) into areas within a venn diagram. The diagram could include 2 – 5
concentric circles depending on the topic you wish them to consider. The circles would
represent categories you choose. The activity could either be paper based, a
cutting/sticking exercise or using physical venn diagrams and moving around cards.
*There some challenging interactive quizzes involving venn diagrams for all subjects on
ICT on Vostok – Dragonfly Interactive Quizzes.
32. Room 101
This activity could be carried out at the end of a topic. In small groups, students must
choose one item* from their studies to throw into Room 101 and explain their reasons.
The teacher and / or class must decide whether their reasons are justified.
*the item could be a writer / scientist / theory / historical figure etc…
33. Democratic dots!
Place a series of statements around the room on paper (about six would be sufficient).
Give the students 3 small, coloured sticky circles (you know the ones!!). Ask them to
place their sticky circles on the statements which they agree with the most. Discuss the
results and ask them to justify the reasons for their choices.
34. Verbal tennis
Students sit facing each other in pairs. The teacher sets a topic and the pair decides who
will serve first. The server begins by saying a word or phrase associated with the topic.
The partner then immediately returns service by giving a second word or phrase. Play
continues in this way until one person either
i) repeats a word / phrase already used
ii) hesitates for more than three seconds
Just like in real tennis you could introduce ‘three challenges’ whereby the challenger
could stop the game briefly to question the validity of their opponents choice of word /
phrase. Scoring should follow the rules of tennis (if they do not know this – play first to 5
This activity could be extended by introducing divisions and a promotion / relegation
35. Question Generator
Instead of guessing what students might find interesting about a topic, why not ask them?
Explain to the students the topic they are about to study. Ask them to generate as many
questions as they can about the topic. What would they like to know? What would they
find interesting? The questions could be ranked into those the whole class are most
interested in. Teaching can then take place around these questions
This could be useful for areas of the syllabus where students have enough general
knowledge to frame intelligent questions.
36. Six degrees of separation
This is a logic game that can be used to promote creative thinking. The class is given two
words (ideally illustrated with photos) which describe people, objects or processes. They
are then challenged to write six sentences that logically link them together.
The only rules (other than the requirement for six sentences) are that the first sentence
must start with the first object and the last must end with the second. Intermediate
sentences must follow logically, with the end of one sentence forming the start of the
Once students become familiar with the game, you can limit their time to, say, three
minutes. See example below.
• A caterpillar is the larva of a butterfly
• Butterflies are insects, which are classified as animals
• Animals respire in order to provide themselves with energy
• Energy can exist in many forms
• One form of energy is thermal energy
• Thermal energy and light energy are produced by burning a candle
37. Where would we be without….?
As a simple end of lesson activity, ask students (in pairs or individually) ‘’Where would
we be without …theory/scientist/author/process etc.’’.
They could then perform a short presentation which would encourage them, and the rest
of the class, to consider the impact of that subject/topic on the world.
This simply involves giving students time at the end of a lesson or topic to create a
mnemonic to remember lesson material.
Students should share their mnemonics so that other students can note down which ones
stick out most to them.
39. Quiz, Quiz, Trade
This can be used as a starter or plenary.
Ask each student to write two* questions and their answers on a piece of paper. The
questions should be on something they have recently studied and there should be no
collaboration with other students when writing the questions.
The students then stand and pair up. They take turns to ask ONE of the questions on their
paper. If the question is not answered correctly, the answer is to be given. After they have
each asked ONE question, the students swap papers (ie trade) and move on to find
another person to repeat the process.
*you could of course extend this activity by getting the students to prepare more
questions. You could also collect in all of their questions to play a ‘weakest link’ type
quiz game later.
40. Take a letter
Preparation: small cards with letters on them (laminated for longevity)
Put the students in groups of 3 or 4. One person from each group comes to the front of the
class to take one card with a letter from the alphabet on it. They return to their group and
try to think of some ‘item’ from a specific topic that begins with that letter. One person
from the group can be nominated as ‘scribe’ to write answers down. If successful, they
keep the letter and collect another from the front of the class.
If they cannot think of an ‘item’ they must return the letter card and take another one.
After a set time, you can check their answers as a whole class activity but afterwards,
they must then try to create a word using the letters they have collected.
41. Memory Board
A useful starter activity.
12 terms from a particular topic are written in a three by four grid on the IWB or OHT.
Students have 30 seconds to remember the list. Put up the next slide which has one of the
terms missing but all the others are jumbled up into different locations on the grid.
Variations: students have to explain what the terms mean or write definitions in the grid
and the students have to state which ‘term’ is missing.
42. Hide and Seek
Students do all the preparation work by writing a definition on one side of a small piece
of paper and the technical term to which the definition relates on the other. They should
repeat this process as many times as you think is appropriate.
Students then line up the pieces of paper which the definitions face down. They are timed
to see how long it will take them to learn all the definitions. They can only turn a piece of
paper over and keep it turned over if they have learned the definition.
Variation: you can issue index cards for them to write more detailed information. They
can be completed for homework, laminated and used as a more permanent revision
43. Discussion circle
Preparation: students revise a particular piece of information (either one that has already
been covered or an item to be studied in future)
The class is organised into two circles – an outer one and an inner one. The students need
to be facing each other (ie outer circle faces in, and inner circle faces out). Each pair of
students then has approx 2 minutes (one minute each student) to explain to each other,
what they have found out. At the end of this process, the outer circle ONLY, moves in a
clockwise direction so that there are now new pairings. The process of swapping
information is repeated.
The students could all be given the same broad topic to research/revise, or different but
nevertheless, interlinked pieces of information.
44. Wheel of knowledge!
Preparation: sets of cards with numbers 1 – 6 on one side and questions on the other.
The class is divided into small groups, each given a set of cards and a die. The students
must answer the question when that number is rolled. The students should take turns to
roll the dice and answer the question themselves initially, but answers should be
discussed as a group.
Gradually the number of cards is reduced and the die is passed around more quickly.
Variation: students could create the questions themselves on card before you laminate
The questions should try to create a broader base of knowledge by incorporating
‘evaluative’ tasks. Remember Bloom’s Taxonomy!!
45. Thinking Graphs
This can be used as a main body activity and would take approx. 15 to 20 minutes.
Preparation: Students (individual, pairs or threes) are provided with a number of
statements on card and a graph on A3 sized paper. A good thinking graph activity will
contain statements that can be placed in a number of places on the graph, although
students have to be able to justify why each statement goes in each place.
In a lesson about the first world war, students could be given a graph of the number
British ships lost 1914-18 and a graph of the number of U-Boats in use at the same time.
Statements could relate to people losing their jobs, cricket pitches being dug up to grow
vegetables, the German surrender, British military tactical changes, women receiving
Students could be provided with a graph that shows how the temperature of a country has
fluctuate over a 100 year period. Statements could be used referring to global warming,
use of renewable and non-renewable fuels, flooding, population changes and other
A graph showing the value of share prices over a five year period could be used.
Statements referring to wars, recession, supply and demand, company take-overs, job
losses and bankruptcy could be used.
46. Fortune Lines
Students have to produce a graph in response to a piece of text they have read or listened
to. When drawing the graph, students have to infer the feelings or emotional state of the
characters in the text and they must try to plot the graph accordingly.
The graph has a vertical axis that charts the feelings or fortunes of the characters and the
horizontal line is either an axis of time or a list of the main chronological events within
Students could be asked to plot a graph which shows the fluctuation in fortune of two
friends who have arranged to meet at the cinema. The story could involve details such as
the journey being rainy and cold for one person but war and sunny for the other, not
meeting in the right place, feeling stressful because they are running late, laughing during
the film, crying when the film is sad and so on.
Students could be asked to plot the fortunes of poker players in a game of cards where
certain percentages, fractions and ratios of cash are won and lost during the course of the
The activity can be used to show the fortunes of armies during key events in a war, or the
feelings of real or imaginary characters during a particular period.
Teaching more able learners
I will not burden you will a huge list of websites that supposedly offer help and guidance
on teaching gifted and talented pupils, I am sure that you have your own subject specific
ones. However, here are a few that have proved useful in the past:
GT: London Gifted and Talented
Cutting edge e-resources and online tools.
QCA: Tasks for the more able
www.qca.org.uk (type in gifted and talented)
Optimus Education, which offers free resources, articles and advice.
www.teachingexpertise.com (type in gifted and talented)
All of the activities in this booklet, and a bit more, can be found on the school intranet
page: Staff – LCS Information – Gifted and Talented resources – Classroom activities.
Biss (Jan 2010)