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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 damp;t



Combining several subjects in one lesson is a dream for most primary teachers. This activity starts in history, works through design objectives and ends in English.

To bring the world of the Anglo-Saxons to life for my pupils, I initially ask them to spend time researching and sketching the tools, materials and clothing from the period, before creating a practical and original design for an item of clothing to make in class.

Students are given complete freedom to choose their own designs and materials (I provide a selection to choose from). This allows them to make decisions that they can reflect on during and after the practical process, learning from their mistakes.

In class, paper templates are used to model how to cut the chosen materials into suitable shapes, which are then sewn together using a variety of stitches. The clothing is to fit puppets and dolls, but could easily be made for the children to wear. The final items of clothing make a fantastic display.

Later, we use the puppets in a show. In groups, pupils write a play script and perform it to the rest of the year group, not only demonstrating what they have learned in history but also showing off their wonderful design products.

Dominic Colley is a teacher at Corporation Road Primary School in Darlington, County Durham

Secondary biology

A genetic encyclopedia

Picture a source of information about virtually everything in the world. This source can be accessed from virtually anywhere. It is organised into separate sections, each of which has information on specific topics made up of a series of letters and numbers.

This could be a description of Wikipedia, but it also describes the human genome.

In class, students must compare the ways in which Wikipedia and genes are similar, such as how a gene is a section of the genome providing information on one function of the cell, just as Wikipedia is divided into different sections, each offering information on a certain topic.

By the end of the lesson, pupils have made analogies between many functions of DNA and Wikipedia, and their answers are discussed and compared as a class. This enables them to begin their genetics unit with confidence.

Seth Robey is a science teacher in Chicago, US

Secondary French

A lot of learning from

petit djeuner

In England, the new MFL curriculum's focus on using literary texts in the target language is an ideal opportunity to explore authentic songs, poems and short stories.

I use the poem Djeuner du Matin by Jacques Prvert with groups across the ability range. The language is simple enough for most pupils to understand without too much difficulty, and they love the idea that they're reading a poem that their peers in France are also studying. The poem ties together the themes of relationships, home, daily routine and food and drink, and offers a chance to practise the perfect tense.

First, we blank out the verbs in the perfect tense, giving the infinitives to help pupils fill in the verbs correctly. Then we focus on a key vocabulary topic and ask students to identify the related words.

Next comes pronunciation practice. I ask pupils to highlight key graphemes and work out how unfamiliar words should sound. I also get students to really listen to the poem, miming the actions as another pupil reads it.

Finally, we discuss the scene. What might have happened? What could happen next? This encourages the use of the target language for giving opinions and responding.

Starr Green is a secondary teacher of French and Spanish

To access resources for all three lessons, visit: bit.lyLessonPlanner10July

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