You are doing revision in class before a test or an exam and you are struggling to make it interesting and creative. Revision is difficult at the best of times and you don't want to simply repeat, at speed, all the lessons you have taught in recent weeks. It needs to be active - and memorable.
Why not try PechaKucha (pronounced pe-chak-cha)? It comes from Japan and is a presentation format first used in Tokyo in 2003, designed for architects to share ideas and examples of good practice. It involves a presentation of 20 different images. You show each image for exactly 20 seconds before talking about it. You can choose the topic, and your subsequent discussion will last for 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
Ask your pupils to create a PowerPoint presentation, with each slide representing an image that is related to their revision. They should set the slides to move on automatically at 20-second intervals while they stand up and present to the rest of the class as part of a revision activity. I have done this with classes ranging from pupils as young as 8 to students completing their A levels. To differentiate PechaKucha for younger or less able pupils, simply reduce the number of slides: you could do a mini version, for example, where pupils complete six slides and make a presentation that lasts for two minutes.
It can be used in any subject across the curriculum, takes little planning, and if pupils don't want to work independently they can create a PechaKucha in small groups and share the presentation.
Pupils can take their own photographs and use these in their presentations, or you can encourage them to search for copyright-free images on the internet. Flickr is a great source of these (www.flickr.com). Encourage pupils to use Flickr's advanced search tool mechanism and select the Creative Commons option, which means they will find only images that they are permitted to use.
I have used PechaKucha for the past few years and the pupils have always found it really engaging. They enjoy selecting key images that represent the part of the topic they are trying to explain, while the timed element of the presentation adds competition to their revision. Along with helping them to revise, PechaKucha allows pupils to gain confidence and develop new presentation skills.
Dan Roberts is deputy head of Saltash.net Community School. Follow him on Twitter @chickensaltash or read his blog at http:chickensaltash.edublogs.org
Give your pupils a break from their books - IT can make revision entertaining. Find a range of free recap games at www.teach-ict.com or, alternatively, log in and make your own.
Is revision getting stale already? Try Pudsleybuggie's ideas to energise your exam hall proteges.
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