This display is based on activities suggested in Jim Smith’s
The Lazy Teacher. I made it to remind me of the activities
we can have in lessons that focus on the students “doing”.
(read the book, it is awesome)
Quick = 10mins
Chunky = 20-30
Huge = 40+
You have been arrested and charged
with being an outstanding learner in
What 5 pieces of evidence will the
prosecution use to prove this? Is there
Choose a letter/number
1 letter A-Z 1 number 1-10
Come up with this many words
beginning with this letter that
are linked to the lesson topic
Think of an animal. Write words linked
to this lesson that begin with the letters
of that animal. (Laugh if you like but this is tricky)
For example “Lion” in a forces lesson....
Just a minute
Can you talk for one whole minute
About this lesson topic? The listener
should be a timer and listen for any
repetition, pauses (of more than 5
seconds) or mistakes.
Don’t want to talk? Try drawing ideas.
Can you create a question that has no
How might we breath if we didn’t
What would we miss most without
Think you have learned loads
today? Write your hardest (1,2
or 3) questions about this
The answer must have appeared
somewhere in the lesson today.
There are usually things we haven’t
learned yet. What questions
remain unanswered about this
topic for you and your group?
Decide which one to offer up to the
Have some fun with a concept
and try to make a “what if”
- What if gravity were only half as strong?
- What if we could see smells?
- What if we could use our own movement
to generate electricity?
In this movie the lead character
famously says, “Life is like a box of
chocolates, you never know what
you’re gonna get”
What is the topic of this lesson like?
Respiration is like a fire because....?
Who would win?
In an imaginary contest (you can decide
the rules) who would win?
- Respiration or photosynthesis?
- Mo Farah or Usain Bolt over 800m?
- Insulation or solar panels to reduce
- Chemical pesticides or natural
Decide on 5 things to write down about
a topic i.e. causes, outcomes, problems
Choose the three most important
Justify your thinking about one of these.
Find 2 other people who disagree with
you and discuss why.
Plot of a graph of variables
chosen by you but linked to the
- How about happiness against time?
- Excitement of a carbon molecule in the
- Bank balance against energy saving
What is everyone else thinking and
is it any good?
Prepare your idea on a topic so you
can explain it inside of 30 seconds.
Go and mingle and gather as many
other ideas as you can then return
to your seat and select the quality
Based on your own/a friend’s
assessment of your learning,
make a report about what key
ideas you have learned so far,
what mistakes you have made
and what your next step might
What happens next?
After reading a passage or seeing
a picture, predict what might
happen next with reasons for
Find someone who predicted
differently and discuss why.
Write a title, or speech bubbles or
thought bubbles that could be
added to a picture you have been
Odd One Out
Come up with three ideas about
the lesson but make one of them
an odd one out.
Can other people pick the odd
one out and figure out your
reason for it?
Bluff, prove it.
You should decide on 5 things that
you know about the lesson topic i.e.
- why something happens
- what effect it has on people
- when it can be a problem
- how it is used in industry.
Then decide on 2 things you don’t know but will
pretend you do. Tell a partner your 7 ideas, they
can only ask you to prove you know 2 of them.
Can you bluff your way to genius?
5 degrees of separation
Can you link two ideas together in just 5 steps?
For example Tuna fish mobile phone.
1. Tuna swim in the sea
2. Chemicals such as mercury can build up in
big predators like tuna
3. We eat tuna
4. Mercury can be harmful to us
5. We use mobile phones which can contain
Penny for them..
Let’s have a relaxed classroom
discussion about the lesson topic
in your life.
You decide where to take the
conversation. What is your
vision? What do you think about
Would it be possible to?
What is the most elaborate way that you
could demonstrate learning on this.
Come up with ways to make this happen
with thought given to problems,
resources, time and finance.
Samsung could have recently paid a
$1bn fine to Apple by delivering 30 truck
loads of 5 cent coins to Apple HQ
Judge and Judgement
We will have a mock trial where
“prosecutors” need to build a case
against someone who they think needs
bringing to justice for a crime.
The defence may be charged with:
- Exceeding their fair share of
- An unhealthy lifestyle
- Damaging the environment
You will have a picture of a crime
scene to do with your lesson
What do you think happened?
What clues might there be?
Can you explain the situation?
Can you imagine where we would
be if something had not
What if we had never found oil?
What if we had never discovered
What if the computer chip never
Predict the future
What might happen if.... Can you
foresee the outcomes of a
- If we don’t find new antibiotics..
- We find a cure for all cancer...
- We genetically modify our
It could be any game or chat show
but do you know enough about a
topic to design a TV show or a
section of one that is based on
our lesson topic?
“He says he has a
balanced diet but will a lie
detector test say otherwise”
Timed or speed challenge.
Question/Task/Diagram to improve
Mr Williams’ quits teaching for
the lesson and someone with a
more original learning idea takes
This is a serious suggestion, but
you need to propose your
learning activity beforehand.