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My brilliant idea - All in a name

English - Ages 14-18

This is a good starter or plenary for pupils studying a novel or play with a range of characters.

Ask pupils to write the name of a major character at the top of a piece of scrap paper. They fold the piece of paper so that the character name is hidden and pass it on to another member of the class who writes a second, minor character name, on the piece of paper. Again, the paper is folded and passed to a different person who adds a third name of a second major character before passing to another classmate.

The pupils have three minutes to unwrap the names and identify the relationships and links between the characters.

The activity helps to support knowledge and understanding and can be used to challenge more able learners by asking them to identify any thematic connections between the names.

Julie Ann Simms teaches at Rugby High School in Rugby, Warwickshire.

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