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My brilliant idea

English

Ages 11 to 14

The following lesson tends to make quite an impact. The aim is to draw the attention of pupils to the notion of reliability in reporting, as part of a study of newspapers at key stage 3. All it requires is a dramatically inclined sixth former to help.

I start the lesson by talking with the class about news reports, and how they contain views and opinions, as well as what might be seen as facts.

At this point, a sixth former, dressed up in clothing from the costume cupboard, bursts into the classroom, grabs my laptop and runs out.

The class are all shocked and after "going out to phone the headmaster", I come back and ask them to write statements about what they have seen.

After five minutes, I collect these in and start to read them back. There is the inevitable variance in these supposedly precise eye-witness accounts.

At this point the "actor" returns; I explain what has happened and what they can now see - that even what purports to be fact in print is open to debate Chris Bond teaches English at the Warwick School in Warwickshire

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