In groups, instruct students to prepare a short (5-10
mins) lesson summarising a topic, including
resources and activities (the preparation makes a
Groups should deliver the lessons either as wholeclass lessons or by splitting up and visiting each of
the other groups individually.
Students should aim to make their lessons creative
Rework Your Notes
Go through your notes and use different colours to
highlight different things (adapt to suit subject):
Re-write your notes including just the things you
highlighted as important
Limit yourself to a single side of A4 for each
topic…do this by including just the important stuff,
not by writing really small!
Similar to a mind-map but at a higher level.
Students should :
Write the name of each topic in a box/circle
Draw lines between topics where they can identify some
kind of connection
Write a couple of words on the line to explain the
the state of matter
Make a series of flashcards.
Front: keyword, date, equation, event, character, process etc
Back: detail about the thing on the front
Use colour, images and interesting lettering to make them more memorable
Ideas for using flashcards:
Try to memorise them yourself
Enlist parent/sibling/friend/pet to test you on them
Place them face down and try to remember the front given the back and vice versa
Refer to them when practicing past-papers, this will highlight important details you
may have left off – add them on
Stick them around your house so there is no escape!
Make a small mark on the card when you get it right, once you have three marks
on a card, you can remove it from the pile to focus on the harder-to-remember
* These are good for memory, less so for understanding
Word Association: with a partner, player A starts with a
keyword related to the subject, player B then says a
related word. If a player hesitates, strays off subject or
the word is not related, they lose a point.
Dominoes: on a series of cards draw a line down the
middle to split them in half. Write a series of pairs of
ideas (question/answer, date/event etc) on separate
halves of the cards. Use these to play dominoes by
matching up the pairs
Pictionary: students take it in turns to draw a
concept/idea/event and their friends have to guess it.
Could be done with plasticine if you don’t mind a trip to
Taboo: students take turns to describe
concepts/ideas/events but without being able to use
certain key words
Use tables and charts to summarise and organise
Choose the most
Microsoft Office contains lots of these (go to ‘Insert’ then
‘SmartArt’), and there are very many more at
In groups, assign each group one of a series of topics or
sub-topics to work on.
Each group gets 30 minutes to produce a poster
summarising everything important about that (sub)topic,
making use of all available resources.
Posters are placed around the classroom and one
member of each group stays with the poster to present it
whilst the others tour the other groups’ posters learning
as much as they can.
The students are given a challenging set of exam
questions focussed on the topics addressed in the
posters and must work in their groups to answer them.
Go through the answers and debrief any areas of
Split class into two
Each half of the class writes 10 short and difficult questions on
You may need to model this
You may want a rule to prevent the class genius from writing all
the questions on a team
The first team serves by asking a question, the second team
returns by answering correctly and asking one of their own
A point is scored when the opponent fails to return the
The team that scored the point gets the privilege of serving
Mnemonics are tools to help you remember a list of
keywords/steps in a process/sequence of events etc
For example the planets (plus Pluto-the-Unloved):
My Very Energetic Mouse Jumped Straight Up Neptune’s
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune,
Develop your own to help you memorise lists of things
you are struggling with.
Humour and absurdity can help make them more