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Your weekly collection of inspirational lessons, imaginative resources and newly released books

Your weekly collection of inspirational lessons, imaginative resources and newly released books

Primary RE

Learning to count your blessings

To teach my class of 9- to 11-year-olds about thankfulness and link that with the concept of faith, I start by reminding them of the saying "count your blessings" and lead a discussion about what a blessing might be.

Next, I bring out a box containing things for which I am thankful, including real items (such as chocolate) and symbolic ones (such as a football representing an inclusive sports club).

I tell the children the stories behind each object and they work in pairs to devise their own list of five things they are thankful for. Finally, I show the pupils a prayer of thanksgiving and ask them to write their own.

The children are excited about bringing in symbolic things to represent what they're thankful for and we create a display table. It provides an ideal opportunity to be thankful and respectful towards each other and the things we value.

Nancy Gedge is a primary teacher

Secondary physics

A matter of half-life and death

Radioactivity is a tricky topic but this lesson on half-life offers an insight into the mathematics of random events - and allows students to brush up on their spreadsheet skills.

I start by introducing a terrible disease: MrPorteritis. Symptoms include quirks such as an unexplained enthusiasm for physics followed by a swift death. MrPorteritis strikes Warsaw and is expected to kill approximately a tenth of the surviving population every day.

The students construct a spreadsheet to answer a series of questions, such as: "On which date will the last person die?" and "Approximately how long will it take for the population to halve and then halve again?"

I explain how the headings should be set out, as well as how to use formulae to calculate the quantities and copy the formulae into successive rows. I have pre-prepared templates for any student who is struggling.

Once the students get going they are genuinely surprised to see how long it takes everyone to die, and that there is a pattern to the way the population decreases.

Simon Porter works for international schools operator Nord Anglia Education

Primary literacy

Get clued up about prepositions

This lesson uses prepositions to create a series of clues for a treasure map.

In pairs, the children examine a sentence with a missing preposition and discuss how four different options would alter the meaning. This helps with the next challenge: formulating a definition for "preposition".

Next, the pupils have to spot the prepositions in a set of word cards. More able children can also match similar prepositions. After this, we create a definitive class list.

Now they have a strong grasp of prepositions, the fun starts. In groups, the children hide 10 items (such as ribbons or stickers) around the school and create 10 clues using prepositions. They swap clues with another group, and then it's a race to find all the items.

To increase the challenge, ban simple prepositions or ask children to write a paragraph using prepositional language.

Rhodri Thomas teaches at Bournemouth Park Primary school in Southend-on-Sea

To access resources for all three lessons, visit: bit.lyLessonPlanner19Jun

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