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My brilliant idea - Dare to doodle

Any subject

All ages

Set the class up with every pupil's name on folded A4 card where you want them to sit. Each nameplate has the start of a doodle. You tell them that they have three minutes to turn it into anything they want. Say: "Go with your first instincts and don't worry about your artistic skills."

Three minutes later, they tour the classroom viewing each other's interpretations of the doodle. They could spot common transformations and comment on more unusual, original ideas.

The teaching point is potentially flexible, but for me in English, this helps me introduce the idea of the value of alternative interpretation in meanings or messages in poems, stories and plays. Everyone's opinion is therefore valid, even if only to spark someone else's thought process, just as was the case with doodles.

This is also fantastic for short-term supply teaching, teaching placements and meeting new classes.

The following web link has some interesting doodle analysis that could be used to develop the activity: www.bbc.co.ukdnah2g2A256466.

Kerry Hopkins is head of English at The Grammar School in Leeds.

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