Weekly tips 3rd May

Thought it might be an idea to start a weekly tips post. Just a list or examples of different things I use or do within lessons. That said, trying to do things to a programmer can get very awkward at certain times of the year. So this might be one of those weekly things that become a monthly one!

1.   Jenga Game. For the uninitiated, Jenga is a tower of wooden blocks which players have to take a block out and stick it on top without knocking the tower down. I added literacy, literary and critical terminology to each block in different colours. So one block might have ALLITERATION in Blue, ANTAGONIST in Green, THEME in black and COLON in Red. At the start we decide which colour is which for each of four players and as they grab a block they have to explain what the term means or forfeit a go. It gets fast and noisy at times but also fun and the kids remember things.

2.   Lollipop sticks. Different coloured sticks with names on. Grab at random to decide who answers the next question. If you want to be sneaky use plain non coloured sticks so all are tensed up ready to answer. But using colours also allows some easing of tension as kids will see that it won’t be them this time round if the blue stick is drawn for example. I use both systems – depends on class and how willing they are to answer. After all, I was told at uni never YA-VA (You Ask -Volunteers Answer) as the same kids answer every time.

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