Success on the cards

Art Design Ages 11 to 16

Art and design can make a valuable contribution towards developing speaking and listening skills.

In our art department we have devised a set of review cards which we link to higher-order thinking skills and use as our "pass the puppet" plenary game.

The cards have questions like: 1. Explain your use of colour in your work (comprehension).

2. Tell us the properties of PVA glue (knowledge).

3. Argue the case why your work should be chosen to hang in the staff room (evaluation).

I model the sort of art language pupils will need to use, and the game works like pass the parcel.

The music plays and pupils pass around the puppet, when the music stops the pupil with the puppet puts it on, chooses, reads out and responds to a review card.

If they answer confidently they keep the card and the pupil with the most cards wins. We award star cards as our reward system.

Liz Stevens is head of art at Frankley High School in Birmingham Useful website for teachers: a brilliant selection of puppets can be found on

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