Skip to main content

Lesson planner

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 art

Set the

tone with colourful


David Hockney's vibrant landscape work is perfect for exploring the idea of colour. So to introduce my class of eight- to 11-year-olds to colour theory, I focus on the artist's 2012 Royal Academy exhibition, A Bigger Picture.

After watching a video where Hockney discusses the project, the children answer questions about his work and use of colour. They love commenting on what the images remind them of - "broccoli" trees are particularly popular. The pupils then create colour wheels in their sketchbooks using a selection of media such as tissue paper, pastels, crayons and watercolour paints.

To finish, we look again at Hockney's paintings, noticing where he uses complementary colours. This is a great way to start a set of lessons on landscape painting.

Nancy Gedge is a primary school teacher

Secondary chemistry

What on earth is our planet really like?

There's no place like home, but how much do we really know about our own planet?

I get the students guessing and ask some multiple-choice questions about the size of the Earth and what makes up its many layers. This is then peer-marked. When I reveal the answers, I usually hear a sharp intake of breath as the scientific realities sink in.

I then get the students to sketch the planet and label its components, from the crust down to the inner core. This serves as a blueprint for the main aim of the lesson: to construct a 3D model of the Earth using materials including paper, Styrofoam and toothpicks.

I allocate 20 minutes to this exercise, during which students readily - and loudly - engage with the task at hand. As a lesson finale, students can present their creation to the rest of the class, who vote on the best model.

Aimee Mckeon is a secondary science teacher at Shirley High School in Croydon, South London

Primary history

Leave no

Stone Age unturned

This lesson gives pupils a taste of the history work they can expect at secondary school, including note-taking, assessing a source and essay-writing. I start by outlining the three distinct eras of the Stone Age: Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic.

Next, I tell my class: "Go out to the school field and see if you can find anything to eat. Jot down in your notebooks anything that you find."

Of course, they come back with empty notebooks, showing that it was tough living hand-to-mouth as a hunter-gatherer.

Next, I show a video re-enacting the invention of the sickle, which provides a wonderful example of how an entire species can change almost overnight. Students take notes and a whole-class discussion allows them to vocalise the arguments they will use in their essays.

After I model essay structures using the PEE (point, evidence, explanation) scaffold, the children write essays arguing for the significance of the sickle's invention, which marked the transition to agriculture.

Jon Brunskill is a primary teacher

To access resources for all three lessons, visit: bit.lyLessonPlanner3July

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you