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Citizenship on the cards

I based this activity loosely on the Top Trumps card game (www.winningmoves.co.uk), a craze among my Year 6 children. In it, players with the same set of picture cards have to trump other players' cards, which list weighted features (such as height and ferocity in the dinosaur set).

A nice way of starting the activity is to ask pupils to write individual comments about their classmates, saying what they like about each person or think they are good at.

Then each child makes a self-portrait: a drawing or digital photograph.

Underneath the portrait we add six categories which are introduced to the children along with the kinds of skills, talents and qualities a person might need to score highly in each area.

This is a perfect time to talk about multiple intelligence and how different people learn and see things in different ways.

The categories are: * Artistic ability - painting and drawing, for example.

* Citizenship - are you able to get on with classmates and other people? Are you good at keeping and making friends?

* Maths magician - number work, mental maths, problem-solving.

* Language skills - writing stories, telling them, listening to other people, speaking another language.

* Physical prowess - playing games, co-ordination, cycling and so on.

* Science and technology - scientific knowledge, working things out, knowing about nature, constructing models and so on.

I collect the sheets and award scores. I give each child at least 90 per cent in each category so that those who perceive themselves as under-achievers are given a boost, while high-flyers are still satisfied with their score of 99 or 100.

Finally one set of cards is printed for each child and distributed to them all to play with. This activity can provide the catalyst for valuable discussion during circle time.

Giles Hughes, arts co-ordinator, Colmore Junior School, Birmingham.

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